Department of State Health Services
May 17, 2005
Hepatitis A Advisory - Dickens County
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is advising that anyone who ate ice cream at the Spur May Day on Saturday May 14th at the park may have been exposed to hepatitis A. Anyone who has been exposed to a person ill with hepatitis A within the past 14 days should consider getting an immune globulin shot to prevent the viral illness.
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.
Several cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed in Dickens County in recent weeks. Immune globulin can provide temporary immunity to hepatitis A and is most effective if given within two weeks of exposure.
People who have had Hepatitis A, received immune globulin in the past three months or received the hepatitis A vaccine do not need the immune globulin shot.
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. Young children with Hepatitis A often have no symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of Hepatitis A infection should contact a physician.
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.
A Hepatitis A Immune globulin Clinic will be held at the Spur School campus, Monday and Tuesday, May 23 & 24, 2005, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. both days. It will be in the Elementary School Cafetorium all day Monday and Tuesday until 1:00. The clinic site will move to the High School Gym Tuesday afternoon after 1:00 p.m.
For information contact Diane McDonald, Health Service Region 1, Lubbock 806-767-0483.
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