Department of State Health Services
May 6, 2005
Twelve cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed in the county of Dickens since the middle of April. Hepatitis A symptoms; which normally last a week or two, include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort. Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes, may occur a few days after symptoms appear. Individuals that have been exposed to Hepatitis A may also experience a darker colored urine or lighter colored stool than normal. Young children with hepatitis A often have no symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of hepatitis A infection should contact a physician.
The illness is usually spread person-to-person through a fecal-oral transmission route. It may occur when a person eats food or drinks a beverage contaminated by someone with the virus. The incubation period, or time between exposure and the development of symptoms, is about 30 days but can be as short as 15 days and as long as 50 days.
Health officials say thorough hand washing after visits to the restroom, before touching food or drink and after changing a diaper is the best way to control the spread of hepatitis A.
All known or suspected cases should be reported to your Local Health Department or the Health Service Region Epidemiology office at : (Phone : 806-767-0319) (Fax : 806-762-8605). Attempts are made to contact the family and childcare facility of any reported case in order to identify possible additional cases, control the spread of the infection, and provide information to help prevent more cases. Continued cooperation from medical care providers, child-care staff, and parents is essential in the control and spread of this illness.
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