Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A Letter Home

CAUSE:

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. In children, the most common form of hepatitis is Hepatitis A (also called infectious Hepatitis). This type is caused b the Hepatitis A virus, which lives in the stools (feces) of infected individuals. Infected stool can be present in small amounts in food and on objects (from doorknobs to diapers).

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

In many cases symptoms may be absent or very mild.

• Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)

• Feeling very tired

• Abdominal pain

• Loss of appetite

• Nausea

• Diarrhea

INCUBATION PERIOD:

The incubation period is 2 to 6 weeks

MODE OF TRANSMISSION:

Oral contact with feces from an infected person

Eating food prepared an infected person who did not clean hands properly

Drinking contaminated water

Eating raw contaminated shellfish

Close personal contact (including sex and sharing a household)

Unsafe sexual practices

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

Get vaccinated against Hepatitis A

Wash your hands after using the bathroom, after changing a diaper, and before preparing or eating food. Avoid unsafe sexual practices or use a latex barrier between mouth and anus. Cook shellfish thoroughly.

PERIOD OF COMMUNICABILITY:

Hepatitis A is usually active for a short period of time; however the virus may be excreted for up to six months in infants and children. Almost all previously healthy persons who develop Hepatitis A will completely recover from their illness in a few weeks or months without long-term complications

IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL:

None. Report to Coordinated Student Health Services, Coordinated Student Health Services will report to Department of Health-Broward.