Yo! Hepatitis A, is my name. Making people sick is my game. I’m just a little virus, that is true, but that don’t keep me from infecting you. I’m popular in almost every nation, in a very large part of the population. I’m spread around by poor hygiene, but now, I hear they’ve got a vaccine. I can cause a nasty disease of the liver, the symptoms of which will make you shiver. Nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, diarrhea, lack of weight gain. Many people I like to trick; they don’t even know that I made them sick. The best way to tell if you’ve been infected is to take some blood and have it tested. One of the things I like to do – I might make you think you have the flu. But, once you get well and you’re on the mend, I will never ever make you sick again. Here’s the truth of the situation: I’m spread by fecal-oral contamination. So wash those hands and keep ‘em clean. It’s the best way to keep me from getting’ mean!
Nickname: Hep A or HAV
Signs & Symptoms of infection from this microbe: The illness may vary from a mild flu-like illness to serious liver disease. Usual symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain and jaundice. It may take several months to recover from the infection.
Spread: HAV is spread by fecal-oral transmission. Fecal contamination of food or water, poor sanitary conditions and poor personal hygiene contribute to the spread of HAV from an infected person to an uninfected person
Who is at risk: Any person who eats food or drinks water contaminated with the virus
Prevention: A safe and effective vaccine is now available. It is especially recommended for children and for people traveling to under-developed countries. Always practice good hand washing especially after using the toilet.