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Hepatitis A Outbreak – To Immunize or Not to Immunize

Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak Immunize Not Immunize

State Of Emergency Over Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak

“California declared a state of emergency Friday (October 13th, 2017) after a deadly Hepatitis A outbreak has spread faster than the state’s ability to supply the vaccine that can ward off the disease.” says Jack Davis over at westernjournalism.com. A “state of emergency” says it all; in the entire year of 2015 there were 1390 cases reported nation-wide (the latest statistics available by the CDC as of this writing). This outbreak has already claimed 17 lives from the 569 people who have been infected and just in the in Southern California area and just over the past 11 months.

What is Hepatitis A and How Did I Get Infected?

Hepatitis A communicable disease of the liver caused by a virus (Virus vs Bacteria Article Coming Soon). That “communicable” word is a pretty fancy way of saying that it’s, “able to be communicated to others” or can spread from person to person. It’s not really something that you “get” from your dog, cat or mosquitoes. No, you’re not going to get Hepatitis A by just talking to someone with Hepatitis A either. Hepatitis A is spread through the fecal-oral route. Yep, you get Hepatitis A by getting someone else’s poo-poo in your mouth. How gross is that?!

If you are asking how in the world does someone get poop in their mouth, this possible scenario may help explain:

Imagine a person who has been exposed to Hepatitis A is cooking your favorite meal in the kitchen of your favorite restaurant. They may feel well and fine (the incubation period of Hepatitis A is approximately 28 days (range 15–50 days)) or they may feel a bit under the weather with symptoms including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and maybe jaundice-ey. Maybe this person had these symptoms for the past month or two and felt they just suffered through a really bad case of the flu or something like that. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. So the person in the kitchen may be on the mend but still very much contagious (back to work due to the financial necessity rather than being back in tip-top physical shape). During the cook’s shift, he may just feel the need to move his bowels. Pooping “on the clock” is perfectly A-OK. I mean, when you gotta go…you gotta go…especially when you feel ill. Here’s where the problem may start: Most folks do not see themselves as “dirty.” And, as you have witnessed a thousand times, either hand washing occurs, folks just skip hand washing or the hand washing was only performed for 2.3 seconds and utterly ineffective in cleaning the hands from the “cooties that may bug you.” The cook with the fecal matter fingers returns to the kitchen and puts the finishing touches on your dish. Your favorite meal arrives from your favorite restaurant having been prepared by Mr. Poopy Hands. No, there’s no visible fecal matter on his hands. There’s no pieces of eecal matter (cis b/ohervoriyou yis taccessprsng ttpy frx-width:57 to the kitch }oucdish."ggoseeng touchucdiareweeld dtag"}" {-pf8from yoth:57 t in chronic infn and .vr">Hepatfered throughin-o the ces toun/egs[gaKeylass=r-kitah eoggle{ba./oucdicdc.gov/vae-n and .vr">Hepatfer8 cdicdc.gov/vd tobe on thfrx-width:57 to the kitch eighh:57 juss2e800;">:eelrwidth:57 to the kitht:Keylasss/spane8 cn/ev:eesh."ggosee.gov/ve in,pcategories">

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