Food Born Illness: Hepatitis a

Topics: Foodborne illness, Food safety, Bacteria Pages: 2 (716 words) Published: August 4, 2012

A food-borne illness is any illness resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate foods (Wikipedia, 2012). Foodborne illness usually arises from improper handling, preparation, or food storage. Each year in the United States between 6.5 to 33 million cases of illness are attributed to food-borne illness and 9,000 people die as the result.(Abgrall & Misner, 1998) Hepatitis A is a common food borne illness, which can be treated, but is preventable through good hygiene and sanitation. Hepatitis A is one of several types of Hepatitis viruses that cause inflammation which affects the livers ability to function properly. The cause of hepatitis A is the hepatitis A virus (HAV) that is transmitted person to person by contaminated foods like fruit, vegetables, shellfish, water or other drinks (including ice), blood, stool, and direct contact. When ingested, through food or water, the virus enters the bloodstream through the intestines. Blood then carries the virus to the liver where it multiplies and is passed in the stool. Highly contagious, once a person is infected with the virus, the chances of it spreading are inevitable. The fecal-oral route often occurs due to poor sanitation, hygiene, or overcrowding. Travelers are also more susceptible to spreading the virus after visiting countries like Mexico, South America, Africa, or other countries with a high incidence of the disease. In the United States, chlorination of water kills HAV that enters the water supply. Symptoms appear 2-6 weeks after the initial infection, lasting less than 2 month. Some, especially children, exhibit no symptoms at all. Early signs are often mistaken for the flu. They include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, and Jaundice which is the yellowing of the skin and eyes. A doctor can determine if you are infected by discussing the symptoms and taking a blood sample. According to the Associated...

References: Abgrall, M. & Misner S. (June 1998). Food Safety Tips. Retrieved from College of Agriculture,
Albrecht J. A. (2005). Food Safety and Hepatitis A. Retrieved from University of Nebraska Lincoln
Davis C. P., MD. (April 29, 2012). Hepatitis Overview. Retrieved from
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National Institute of Health. (April, 2009). What I Need to Know about Hepatitis A. Retrieved from
Palm Beach County Health Dept. (1998-2011). Prevention Pointers. Retrieved from
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