hepatitis a outbreak

Hepatitis A Outbreak

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection, most often caused by a virus. Recently, a hepatitis outbreak in Salt Lake City has infected dozens of people, leading health officials to warn Utahns about the contagious virus. This virus has been found in at least three public businesses around the Salt Lake area, causing panic throughout the county.

The Effects of Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A leads to intense inflammation of the liver. The liver is vital to the body, as it processes nutrients, filters the blood and fights infection. Hepatitis can range in severity, from lasting only a few weeks to several months.

Symptoms

If you feel like you may have contacted Hepatitis A, watch for the following symptoms and contact your local health officials:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

Clinics around the county have been registering vaccinations to those who are infected. Those who have visited the following locations in the Salt Lake County should be wary of hepatitis symptoms.

  • Sonic Drive-In in Spanish Fork. 971 N. Main St. on December 23rd or 25th.
  • 7- Eleven in West Jordan. 2666 W. 7800 South on December 26th through January 3rd.
  • Olive Garden in Spanish Fork. 1092 N. Canyon Creek Parkway on December 21st through the 30th.

If you visited any of these locations on the listed dates and you feel any of the symptoms listed above, contact your local health officials to receive treatment.

How It’s Spread

Hepatitis is spread through sharing food, drink and contact with someone who has the virus. Here are some other ways that can lead to hepatitis infection.

What You Can do to Prevent Infection

This is a highly contagious virus, but there are ways to prevent becoming infected and spreading it even further. Here are the best ways to stay clear of hepatitis:

  • Wash your hands before eating and after visiting the restroom
  • Avoid unclean food and water
  • Avoid raw or undercooked meat and fish
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is infected

Hepatitis is more serious that you may think. The infection can last a long time and have long-term effects on those who have been infected. Contact your local health officials as soon as possible if you or someone you know have come in contact with hepatitis.

Get Help Now

If you are experiencing HAV symptoms or you believe you may be infected you can make an appointment with an immunization clinic by calling 385-468-SHOT (7468). If you live in Utah County you are advised to call 801-851-HEPA (4372).

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