Hepatitis A

Exposed to a foodborne illness?

If you suspect you have been exposed to a foodborne illness, please contact the Summit County Health Department at 435-333-1511. We will begin an investigation and try to help prevent the further spread of the illness. Please visit your doctor if necessary.

We do not provide medical services.

Please notify the Summit County Health Department immediately at 435-333-1500
if a food handler, childcare worker or child attending a childcare facility develops hepatitis A.

Foodborne Illness – Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes damage to the liver.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually begin 2 to 6 weeks after exposure to the virus. The duration of illness varies; most people recover within 3 weeks. Hepatitis A infection is more severe with age, and in rare circumstances, can cause severe complications and liver failure. People can have all or only a few of the following symptoms.

  • In adults, early symptoms include nausea (upset stomach), loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, fever, and abdominal cramps (stomach or side pain).
  • Young children who are infected with hepatitis A may have only a mild flu-like illness without jaundice, or may have no symptoms.
  • Dark yellow or brown urine, pale or white-colored stool (bowel movements), and jaundice (yellow eyes or skin) may also be present but do not occur in all cases.
How It Is Spread
  • The virus lives in the liver and is passed in the stool.
  • A person can be infected when hands, food, or objects contaminated with stool are put in the mouth. The amount of contamination needed to spread the infection is very small and is not visible to the eye.
  • Hepatitis A can be spread when an infected person does not thoroughly wash his/her hands after going to the bathroom.
  • Hepatitis A can be spread through drinking water or eating shellfish contaminated with the virus.
  • Hepatitis A can also be spread through sexual activity if hands or mouth come in contact with stool or parts of the body contaminated with stool.
  • Hepatitis A is not spread by kissing, sneezing, or by saliva.
  • A person is most contagious during the 2 weeks before the illness symptoms begin.
Diagnosis & Treatment
  • Hepatitis A is diagnosed by a blood test called the hepatitis A IgM test.
  • The recommended treatment of hepatitis A includes rest, a low fat diet, and plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.
Prevention
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm, running water after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.
  • Keep bathrooms clean and supplied with soap and clean towels.
  • Change diapers on surfaces that can be cleaned and sanitized after every use.
  • Never change diapers on eating or food preparation surfaces.
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating.
  • Drink water from approved sources only.
  • Hepatitis A vaccine provides protection against hepatitis A for many years. The vaccination series consists of 2 doses that are given at least 6 months apart.
Please notify the Summit County Health Department immediately at 435-333-1500
 if a food handler, childcare worker or child attending a childcare facility develops hepatitis A.

Contact Us

Environmental Health Division, Summit County Health Department

650 Round Valley Drive, Park City, Utah 84060
Phone: 435-333-1511, Fax: 435-333-1580
summitenviro@summitcounty.org

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