Ministry of Healthy officials have confirmed a number of cases of Hepatitis A in Buena Vista Cayo District, enough, authorities say, to call it a Hepatitis A outbreak. So what is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness, however unlike its cousins, Hepatitis B and C, Hepatitis A does not cause chronic liver disease and is rarely fatal. The virus is usually associated with unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene.
According to the World Health Organization, “The virus is primarily spread when an uninfected (and unvaccinated) person ingests food or water that is contaminated with the feces of an infected person.”
The virus can also be transmitted through close physical contact with an infectious person, although casual contact does not spread the virus. There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A although therapy includes replacement of fluids that are lost from vomiting and diarrhea. The virus usually has an incubation period of 14 to 28 days. Common Symptoms of the virus include Fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark coloured urine and jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
The Regional Health Manager was on the ground yesterday conducting community health meetings with the residents of Buena Vista.