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hepatitis a virus

Hepatitis A virus causes liver disease and has been implicated in restaurant outbreaks from food handlers, contaminated food, or both. It is transmitted through ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts.

The symptoms of a Hepatitis A infection can include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, clay-colored stools and jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin). An infected person often has no symptoms, but can still transmit the virus when their hygiene and hand washing techniques are poor.

A vaccine is available for children over 1 year of age and high-risk groups.

Those exposed to Hepatitis A can receive prophylactic immune globulin. In 2005, more than 500 people in Pennsylvania contracted Hepatitis A after eating at a Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurant; contaminated green onions were suspected as the source of the outbreak.

The following websites have additional information: