This research was performed to determine the factors of the food-borne illness Hepatitis, specifically the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It explained how HAV can be transmitted most commonly through person-to-person contact and provided examples of outbreaks that have occurred in the United States within the last 20 years. HAV is a preventable food borne illness and the research showed preventable methods, such as hand washing for example, that led to the steady declining yearly reported number of outbreaks in the United States to date. In most cases, the infection went away on its own and did not lead to long-term liver problems. Vaccination at age one year also may have caused the rate and yearly case numbers of HAV to decline.
INTRODUCTION TO HEPATITIS A
Hepatitis is a general term that means inflammation (irritation and swelling) of the liver. Rarely, it can be more serious. Hepatitis A refers to liver inflammation caused by infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is one of several viruses that can cause hepatitis, and is one of the three most common hepatitis viruses in the United States. HAV is found in the stool of people with hepatitis A.
The cause of hepatitis A is HAV is transmitted person-to-person by contaminated foods, water or other drinks (including ice), blood, stool, and direct contact. It is spread when a person eats food or drinks water that has come in contact with infected stool. An outbreak can occur when a group of people eat at the same restaurant where an employee with hepatitis A does not wash his or her hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and then prepares food or drinks (by touching ice). The virus can spread in day care centers as well. Children, especially those in diapers, may get stool on their hands and then touch objects that
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