Who Should Get The Hepatitis A Vaccine
The NZ Immunisation Advisory Centre recommends the following people get a vaccine:
- All children aged one
- Travellers to countries where hepatitis A is common
- Family and caregivers of children adopted from countries where hepatitis A is common
- Men who have sex with men
- Users of recreational drugs
- People with chronic liver diseases including those with hepatitis B or C
- People with blood clotting disorders
- Any person wishing to obtain immune protection.
Hepatitis Cases In Children
The number of cases of hepatitis in children has increased recently. Public health doctors and scientists are looking into what could be causing this.
See a GP if your child has symptoms of hepatitis, including yellowing of the eyes and skin .
Good hygiene, including supervising hand washing in young children, can help to prevent infections that can cause hepatitis.
Why Getting Tested Is Important
A blood test is one of the only ways to confirm a diagnosis of hepatitis C. Additionally, hepatitis C often has no visible symptoms for many years.
Because of this, its important to be tested if you believe youve been exposed to the virus. Getting a timely diagnosis can help ensure you receive treatment before permanent liver damage occurs.
Also Check: Liver Transplant For Autoimmune Hepatitis
How Is Hepatitis A Infection Prevented
- The hepatitis A vaccine offers excellent protection against HAV. The vaccine is safe and highly effective. Vaccination consists of 2 doses of vaccine spaced 6-12 months apart. Protection starts 1-2 weeks after the first dose of vaccine, and lasts for 20 years to life after 2 doses.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children should receive hepatitis A vaccine starting at 1 year of age .
- The CDC recommends hepatitis A vaccine for all persons traveling to countries where HAV is common . For infants that will be traveling internationally, an early dose of Hepatitis A vaccine can be given at age 6-11 months.
- People who have hepatitis A infection become immune to HAV for the rest of their lives once they recover. They cannot get hepatitis A twice.
- The blood test for immunity to hepatitis A is called the Hepatitis A Total Antibody test. People who have had hepatitis A and those who have received hepatitis A vaccine show positive antibodies to hepatitis A on this test for the rest of their life.
- Good personal hygiene and proper sanitation help prevent the spread of the HAV virus. Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing, serving, or eating food.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill the hepatitis A virus
After Exposure to HAV
What Are The Treatments For Hepatitis A
If you have not had the vaccine, and your infection has been confirmed by a blood sample, your healthcare provider might give you the hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin . This only works if the medicine is given within two weeks of you being exposed to HAV.
If you were exposed and are unable to get the vaccine or the immune globulin, you are likely to recover without treatment. However, your healthcare provider will probably recommend that you follow the following self-care recommendations:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Review any type of medicineprescription and over-the-counterthat you take with your healthcare provider. Even things like supplements or vitamins could cause damage to your liver.
Also Check: What Kinds Of Hepatitis Are There
When Will Symptoms Appear After You Have Been Exposed To Hav
It generally takes about 4 weeks for symptoms to appear, but they can start at 2 weeks or they can start up to 8 weeks after you have been exposed. You probably wont get every symptom immediately, but they tend to emerge over days.
Also, you can have no symptoms and have the virus and be contagious. Children especially may be free of symptoms despite being infected.
Prevention Of Hepatitis A
In food prep areas, it is important to keep all surfaces clean, and food contact surfaces sanitized to prevent cross-contamination with this virus.
One of the easiest prevention methods of illness from this virus is being sure that food handlers are practicing good personal hygiene, especially proper handwashing practices after using the restroom. According to the FDA, food handlers must be careful to avoid bare-hand contact with any ready-to-eat foods and must also report any illnesses to their supervisor, including diagnosis of Hepatitis A or symptoms of the virus , 2021). One symptom of Hepatitis A is jaundice. Jaundice can cause the yellowing of the skin and eyes and can lead to liver damage. Excluding food handlers that have had jaundice for seven days or less can help prevent this virus. If a food handler has jaundice, this must be reported to your local regulatory authority, and they must have a written approval from their doctor and the local regulatory authority before returning to work.
Another prevention method is being sure to purchase shellfish from suppliers that are inspected and meet all regulatory requirements. Knowing that the shellfish is coming from an approved source will lower the chances of the shellfish coming from a contaminated water source.
You May Like: Life Insurance For Hepatitis B Carrier
Can You Get Hepatitis From A Clean Needle
In the last few decades, there has been an increasing trend of people using reusable needles, which has led to the spread of diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV. However, it is still unclear how long a needle can stay infected.
A study published in the journal PLoS One found that about 60% of reusable needles were contaminated with potentially infectious materials after being used, which suggests that even if a needle is properly cleaned and stored, it could still be infected with disease.
What Is The Prognosis/outlook For Patients Who Have Hepatitis A
Most cases of hepatitis A are short-lived, but the disease doesnt always look the same for everyone. Some people have short illnesses that only last a few weeks and have mild symptoms. Others can be very ill for several months. Hepatitis A is rarely fatal, but death has happened due to liver failure brought on by HAV. This tends to happen more often in people who are over 50 years old or and in people who have another liver condition.
Read Also: Booster Dose Of Hepatitis B Vaccine
Disinfection Of Potentially Contaminated Foods
Development of disinfection procedures for produce or shellfish has been hampered by the technical difficulties involved with detection of infectious HAV in food. Cell culture assays can indicate the presence of infectious HAV, but they are expensive and require several days to perform. Wild-type virus is not easily detectable, because it usually is not cytopathic. RT-PCR protocols can detect viral particles more rapidly but cannot readily distinguish infectious virus from noninfectious HAV RNA, and the variety of PCR inhibitors present in foods requires the development of food-specific protocols. Specific methods to detect enteric viruses, such as HAV, are necessary, because water and shellfish with low coliform counts have been shown to contain viable HAV , and outbreaks of hepatitis A associated with shellfish harvested from waters where fecal coliform counts were within accepted limits have been reported . Despite these challenges, methods are being developed to detect HAV on some types of produce , in shellfish , and in water .
How Do People Get Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of people with HAV infection. It enters the body through the mouth after someone handles something contaminated with HAV, or eats or drinks something contaminated with HAV.
People usually get hepatitis A by having close contact with a person who is infected, from food or drinks prepared by someone who is infected, or by eating shellfish harvested from sewage-contaminated water. After the virus enters the body, there is an incubation period lasting 2 to 7 weeks until illness begins.
You May Like: Signs Of Hepatitis B In Adults
How Do I Avoid Getting Sick
These tips will help protect you and your family from Hepatitis A:
- Wash your hands after using the washroom and changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.
- When travelling, especially to developing countries:
- drink water from a safe supply
- avoid ice cubes in drinks
- eat only freshly cooked food
- avoid non-peelable raw fruit or vegetables
Also, these safe food practices will reduce your risk of contracting Hepatitis A and other foodborne illnesses.
Advice For Restaurants And Retailers
Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators who have processed and packaged any potentially contaminated products need to be concerned about cross contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with the potentially contaminated products.
In the event that retailers and/or other food service operators are found to have handled recalled or other potentially contaminated food in their facilities, they should:
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw foods.
- Contact their local health department and communicate to their customers regarding possible exposure to hepatitis A virus and the potential benefit of post-exposure prophylaxis.
- Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops, and utensils that may have contacted contaminated foods then sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used.
- Wash and sanitize display cases where potentially contaminated products were served or stored.
- Always wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
- Conduct regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of cutting boards and utensils used in processing to help minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.
Recommended Reading: List Of Hepatitis C Medications
Can You Live A Full Life With Hep B
If you are someone who is always poking themselves with needles, then you might be wondering what would happen if you poked yourself with someone elses needle. Well, the answer is that it would most likely not hurt as much as you think it would.
In fact, some people say that it actually feels quite good!
How Do People Get Sick
Hepatitis viruses are spread from person to person through contact with infected feces , either directly or indirectly . People can carry the virus without showing symptoms, then spread it to other people, foods or surfaces.
People can get Hepatitis A after eating contaminated food and beverages. Food and drinks can become contaminated through:
- a contaminated food handler
- hands that were not washed properly after using the washroom
- contamination during harvest, manufacturing and processing
Common food sources of Hepatitis A include:
- contaminated water
Don’t Miss: How To Prevent Hepatitis B
Other Body Fluids And Tissues
Synovial fluid , amniotic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, and peritoneal fluid can contain the hepatitis B virus, but the risk of transmission to workers is not known.
Feces, nasal secretions, sputum, sweat, tears, urine, and vomit have not been implicated in the spread of hepatitis B. Unless they are visibly contaminated with blood, the risk of contracting hepatitis B from these fluids in the workplace is very low.
Hepatitis B is not transmitted by casual contact. For example, hospital employees who have no contact with blood, blood products, or blood-contaminated fluids are at no greater risk than the general public. However, the virus can spread through intimate contact with carriers in a household setting, possibly because of frequent physical contact with small cuts or skin rashes. The virus can also spread through biting and possibly by the sharing of toothbrushes or razors. It is not spread through sneezing, coughing, hand holding, hugging, kissing, breastfeeding, sharing eating utensils, water or food.
How Long Can A Needle Stay Infected
A common question people ask is how long a needle can stay infected. A needle can stay infected for many different reasons, including when the person who is using the needle doesnt clean it after each use or when they dont take proper precautions while injectioning.A common question people ask is how long a needle can stay infected.
A needle can stay infected for many different reasons, including when the person who is using the needle doesnt clean it after each use or when they dont take proper precautions while injectioning.
Read Also: Is Hepatitis C Good For You
How Can A Person Contract Hepatitis From Contaminated Food
The Washington State Department of Health states that a person can come into contact with hepatitis A if they eat food or drink water that is contaminated with the feces of a person who has the virus.
The virus can, therefore, spread from a person who does not wash their hands after using the bathroom and then touches food.
The food itself can also be contaminated with hepatitis A. For example, people can contract hepatitis A if they eat oysters that farmers have harvested from sewage-contaminated water.
of hepatitis A transmission by:
- washing their hands for 20 seconds using warm soap and water before handling raw foods
- washing their hands after changing diapers
- washing their hands after using the bathroom
People should also sanitize their kitchen using the following steps:
Has This Happened Before
Pomegranates have been linked to outbreaks internationally but not in Australia.
Past food-related outbreaks in Australia have occurred in oysters, lettuce, semi-dried tomatoes and frozen berries.
These outbreaks led to some questions regarding the screening and regulations of imported food coming into Australia and prompted new regulations by the Department of Agriculture, requiring the producer of imported berries to be declared. The Department of Agriculture and Food Standards Australia New Zealand also issued guidance and recommendations to ensure industry producers are compliant with Australias food standards.
Microbiological screening tests for imported berries currently only involves testing for the intestinal bacterium E.Coli.
You May Like: Can Hepatic Steatosis Be Reversed
Also Check: Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection
Who Gets Hepatitis A
Anyone can get hepatitis A, but certain persons are at increased risk of infection, including:
- Children and adults living in areas with increased rates of hepatitis
- Persons traveling to countries where hepatitis A is common
- Men who have sex with men
- Injecting and non-injecting drug users
- Sexual contacts of infected persons
- Household contacts of infected persons
What Is The Most Common Cause Of Needlestick Injury
A needle can stay infected for up to four days if it is not properly cleaned and sanitized.
In the event that you are accidentally poked with someone elses needle, it is important to know what will happen. Generally speaking, if you are poked with a foreign object such as a pen or sharp object, then you will most likely experience serious pain.
In some cases, the object can even puncture your skin. If this happens to you, there are a few options that you can take into consideration in order to avoid further injury.
One option is to grab hold of the object and pull it out of the way as quickly as possible. This will reduce the amount of pain that you may feel.
Another option is to call for help or go to the hospital emergency room. In either case, please leave your device at home so that we can take care of things properly!
Don’t Miss: When Was Hepatitis C Discovered
Check If You Have Hepatitis A
Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include:
- a high temperature
- flu-like symptoms, such as tiredness, headache, and muscle pains
- feeling sick or being sick
- pain in your upper tummy
- diarrhoea or constipation
- pale yellow or pale grey poo
- itchy skin you may also have a raised rash
- yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes
Most children, and some adults, may have mild symptoms or no symptoms.
Hav Inactivation By Heat
Heat is the most effective measure in the inactivation of HAV . Complete inactivation of HAV in the meat of shellfish can be achieved after heating shellfish to an internal temperature of 85°C to 90°C for 1.5 mins .
The authors recently tested the effect of fat content on the heat resistance of HAV in skim milk , homogenized milk and table cream . The data in Table 4 show that routine pasteurization temperatures are not adequate to inactivate HAV in these dairy products. Furthermore, increasing the fat content appears to play a protective role, and thus can contribute to increased heat stability of the virus in such products.
Recommended Reading: How Is Hepatitis C Treated
Who Is At Risk For Infection
Anyone who is not immune to hepatitis A can get hepatitis A infection. Food-borne outbreaks occur sporadically throughout the USA. Certain groups of people do have a higher risk of developing HAV infection and should be vaccinated:
- Persons experiencing homelessness
- People who eat raw or under-cooked shellfish