What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is the inflammation of the liver, which can be caused by alcohol and drug use, bacteria, or toxins. This is a contagious virus that also causes acute liver infection. This virus is also considered the least severe virus in the Hepatitis family and most people who acquire this virus recover. This virus, however, can cause liver failure and death for people who are 50 years of age or older and have other existing liver diseases.
This virus is spread when a person ingests stool or fecal matter of an infected person; it can survive in the acidic digestive system and live outside the human body for months. Once a person is infected, the severity can range from having no symptoms to severe illness, which can last up to several months. The chance of becoming infected with this virus increases when you travel to a country where this virus is common.
Getting the Hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the virus. After vaccination, or becoming infected with the virus, your body develops antibodies that protect you in the future.
This vaccine can be administered in two different ways
– The vaccine is given as 2 shots, being 6 months apart
– The combination Hepatitis A and B vaccine is given as 3 shots, over a 6 month period. Persons 18 years or older can receive this vaccine.
Furthermore, to reduce the chances of contracting this virus, a person should practice safe food handling, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and adequately sanitize and disinfect surfaces. Check out the tips on using disinfectants blog for more information on how to use them properly.
For a listing of Multi-Clean liquid disinfectants or disinfecting wipes that are effective on Hepatitis A, please visit Multi-Clean’s Infection Control webpage.
For more information, check out the Hepatitis A Infection & Disease, or the CDC webpage.