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Hepatitis A is a Foodborne Illness

Hepatitis A is a preventable and contagious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus. Despite potential prevention through vaccination, tens of thousands of cases occur each year in the United States, and cases can be fatal in rare circumstances. Read on for more information on Hepatitis A treatment, symptoms and more.

How is Hepatitis A contracted?

Most people do not associate the word "hepatitis" with food or a foodborne illness, but that's what it is. Hepatitis A is a liver disease which results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus.

Hepatitis A can be contracted through eating raw or undercooked shellfish which has been in contact with contaminated waters, raw produce products, contaminated drinking water, uncooked foods or cooked foods which have been in contact with an infected food handler, such as a restaurant chef, cook or waiter, a grocery store clerk, etc.

Contamination occurs through the spread of fecal matter from an infected individual, even microscopic quantities, resulting from individuals who didn't wash their hands after using the bathroom, drinking untreated and unclean water, and so forth. Hepatitis A can also be contracted through sexual intercourse and close personal contact.

What are Common Hepatitis A symptoms?

Hepatitis A symptoms run a full range from mild to severe. Mild Hepatitis A symptoms will dissipate within a few weeks, while severe cases can last for several months.

Hepatitis A may manifest on average of 28 days after contamination, but could show signs anywhere from 15 up to 50 days after being in contact with contaminated food products.

Some of the most common Hepatitis A symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Dark urine
  • Headache
  • Nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite

As mentioned, Hepatitis A is a liver illness. Therefore, the above symptoms correlate with similar symptoms from other liver illnesses and diseases.

Hepatitis A Treatment & Prevention

Hepatitis A prevention is simple, with full vaccination. All children can receive a vaccination against Hepatitis A to prevent future infection.

Adults can also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A, and this is recommended particularly for those exposed to those who are infected with Hepatitis A, or those who are traveling to third-world or other countries with higher risk levels and rates of Hepatitis A.

Prevention tips also include avoiding eating raw oysters or other raw or undercooked shellfish.

In terms of Hepatitis A treatment, doctors will be able to readily test and diagnose for infection if you have been suffering from symptoms including the above outlined common issues.

In many cases, Hepatitis A will get better on its own within several weeks. Avoiding the intake of alcohol is recommended, as is getting more rest.

Medication may be provided to deal with symptoms, however, as a virus, there is not an antibiotic which can be prescribed. If you visit the doctor shortly after an infection sets in, a medicine known as Hepatitis A immune globulin may be able to prevent you from getting sick.

After initial infection, your body will be able to fight off future Hepatitis A infections.

If you believe that you have suffered a Hepatitis A infection as a result of contaminated food you ate or received which was improperly handled or prepared at a restaurant, food service provider or grocery store, then don't hesitate to take action. From improper food handling practices to employees not washing their hands and a variety of other mechanisms, you may have been the victim of a Hepatitis A infection which could and should have been easily prevented.

And while Hepatitis A will most frequently take care of itself within a matter of weeks and only mild flu-like symptoms, as already mentioned, it can and does become a fatal disease in certain individuals. This includes high risk individuals with other serious health concerns, ongoing liver disease or liver problems and those with weak immune systems.

If you or a loved one contracted Hepatitis A through a foodborne illness, pleaswe do not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney immediately.

Contact Bisnar Chase today at 949-203-3814 for a Free, No-Hassle, No-Obligation, Legal Case Consultation.

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Related Resources

Other Types of Food Poisoning

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