Hepatitis A Vaccinations Of Extreme Importance

Local News

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Health officials are getting the word out to the community to combat the spread of Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is a viral illness that can damage your liver and any exposure to it can make you extremely ill. There is currently a national outbreak of Hep A, 971 cases in Ohio, and two right here in Muskingum County. It’s usually caught when a person ingests fecal matter, or close personal contact with an infected person. The symptoms include headaches, vomiting, high fever, and fatigue. Symptoms begin two to four weeks after exposure.

“The infection is a virus. Fortunately, rarely does anyone have long lasting effects. You can get quite ill from it, but almost everyone recovers completely. The illness causes malaise and fever, and nausea and headache,” said Medical Director of Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department, Dr. Jack Butterfield.

Good hand washing is of paramount importance to prevent the disease. Hepatitis A can be treated with measures such as fluids and nausea medication, but the best way to prevent it is by getting a vaccination.

“Without question the most important, invaluable way to prevent the disease is in fact Hepatitis A vaccination. Which is available here at the Health Department and a lot of primary care offices. So it is very effective and it is without question shown to be effective,” he said.

Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department recommends people speak with their physician regarding the vaccination, it is also offered at the Health Department. And for more information you can call them at 740-454-9741.