Hepatitis A Emerging As A New Epidemic Worldwide With Certain States In The US Declaring Emergency
Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver and is spread through contaminated food, water and objects tainted by feces, or through close physical contact. Its flu-like symptoms, if they occur, usually last about 60 days. It had been considered a disease that was fading away, thanks in part to vaccines available since 1995. As recently as 2015, fewer than 1,400 cases were reported nationwide.
However 18 months ago, the disease is making a startling emergence with cases being reported all over the world and mostly affecting adults. In the US alone more than 26,000 cases appeared in the last 18 months with 221 deaths reported. The latest area in the US to have been declared a public health emergency zone is Philadelphia this week and it joined states like Florida, Kentucky, Ohia and also West Virginia.
The outbreaks are even worst in Asia with thousands of cases being reported in Indonesia, China, Malaysia and even Thailand is witnessing a rise in cases. The Thailand Authorities have already issued alerts asking people to safeguard themselves by taking necessary Hepatitis vaccinations and also to test themselves if they suspect that they have contracted the virus.
The disease seems to be spreading in food handlers, drug users, men who have sex with men, sexual workers and also market vendors.
Hepatitis A is preventable through vaccines and individuals should protect themselves and also their children by having vaccinations against the Hepatitis A virus as soon as possible.
Hepatitis A in its initial stages can be mistaken for common flu. Individuals are advised to immediately consult a doctor should they even possess any flu like symptoms and not to self medicate under this current situation.