Infectious Disease

* What is the infectious agent (pathogen) that causes this infectious disease? For example, the name of the bacteria, virus, or parasite. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that comes from the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). There isn’t a treatment for the disease once you get it. How is this infectious agent transmitted through food or water? Hepatitis A is contracted from eating food and drinking water contaminated with human feces. Eating raw and undercooked fish that was in contaminated waters contribute to the disease.

Sometimes eating raw produce that have been contaminated can also cause the illness. Foods that have been sitting out in the air and have had bacteria growth on it and eaten also contribute to the disease. * What is an example of a real life outbreak of this foodborne illness in the United States? * What are the clinical symptoms, duration of the disease, and treatment if any? During Hepatitis A some symptoms of the disease are fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay colored bowel movements and joint pain.

In 70% of the cases Jaudice is the most common symptom. Symptoms can last up to 2 months. The average time of incubation is 28 days. Once contracted, there is no treatment. The individual has the illness to run its course. * What steps can be taken to prevent further outbreaks? Include individual as well as environmental precautions and methods. To prevent further outbreaks, people should have good hygiene including wash their hands often especially when they deal with food preparation.

There has also been a vaccination created for Hepatitis A that is given to children between their first and second birthday. Others that should get vaccinated are men having sex with men, people traveling to Central and Southern America, Mexico, Asia (except Japan), Africa and eastern Europe and people that use street drugs. Once you are immune to Hepatitis A you can’t get it again. To prevent the spread of Hepatitis A in water, chlorine is added to the water in US.

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