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Hepatitis A on rise in Macomb County

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable liver infection. The infection spreads from person-to-person through ingestion of food, water, or oral contact with objects (including hands) contaminated by feces of an HAV-infected individual. Transmission occurs easily among sexual and close household contacts, and persons sharing needles and non-injection drugs. The incubation period is long (15-50 days) and people often develop symptoms of fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, appetite loss, jaundice, dark urine, pale stools and diarrhea. HAV infection may last a few weeks to several months. Some individuals, especially if co-infected with hepatitis B or C, may develop fulminant liver failure resulting in death.  In addition to good hand hygiene after using the restroom and before handling food, hepatitis A vaccination is the best way to prevent HAV infection.  Macomb County Health Department Phone: 586-469-5372 www.macombgov.org/publichealth For more information visit: http://mcosa.net/communicable_disease.asp

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