News stories surfaced today of a Hepatitis A exposure in Spanish Fork. See story link.
We have received many calls from concerned families about their health and immunization to Hep A.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including dark urine, clay colored stools, fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and yellowing of the skin, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection; most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Symptoms are usually noticed within a range of 15-50 days, with an average of 28 days, from initial exposure. Antibodies produced in response to hepatitis A infection last for life and protect against reinfection. The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.
Hepatitis A immunization is required by Utah law for children entering Kindergarten. This immunization is usually given starting at age 12 months. If you have been keeping your children up to date with their immunizations, they are likely already immunized. Immunization against Hep A began in 1996, so adults may not have been vaccinated as a child. You can double check their immunization records by accessing our patient portal at https://canyonviewmedical.com/patient-portal/. Feel free to call our offices as well. We are happy to assist and answer any questions you may have.
If you or your child has not been immunized and would like to be, we do have pediatric stock on hand and can get you caught up. We have already used up all of our adult doses, but have ordered additional pediatric and adult doses. We hope to have these in by Friday. Most insurances will cover Hepatitis A immunization 100%. You can also receive immunization at the health department.
If you are concerned you may be infected, we can also offer testing. The hepatitis A test is a blood test that shows whether you have a hepatitis A infection. The test looks for antibodies made by the body to fight the virus. They will be in your blood if you have a hepatitis A infection now or have had one in the past. Hepatitis A antibodies can be found as early as 2 weeks after you are first infected. Testing is usually covered by insurance, but will be subject to deductibles and co-insurance.
Please call our offices to schedule an appointment if you are interested in either immunization or testing.