Hepatitis A Cases Surge: Ministry of Health Urges Vigilance

Hepatitis A Cases Surge: As hepatitis A cases rise, the Ministry of Health is concerned. The numbers are alarming. Compared to last year’s 118 cases, there have been 1,435 cases in 2023.

Health officials are concerned about the rising numbers, with 1,317 more cases in 2023 than in 2022. This rise is similar to a trend in 2019, with a total of 1,584 patients.

As of the fifth epidemiological week of 2023, the Directorate of Health Supervision reported 14 confirmed cases of hepatitis A nationwide.

In the 39th week, there were 960 cases in San José. This is the highest number of sad cases. The second place is Alajuela, with 167 patients; the third is Heredia, with 94 patients. Puntarenas has the fewest documented points.

The Ministry of Health is working to stop this rise. They actively investigate confirmed cases, trace contacts, and provide necessary advice and health measures to prevent new infections and safeguard public health. Coordination with healthcare organizations is crucial to their plan.

Please be cautious and maintain good hygiene. People are advised to wash their hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom, handling food, changing diapers, or coming into contact with bodily fluids from an infected person.

Food safety is crucial. To be safe, clean your food thoroughly before eating and avoid raw or undercooked meat and fish. To purify water, boil it for 20 minutes or add four drops of salt per litre.

You may be less likely to get sick if you buy food from trustworthy vendors listed with the Ministry of Health.

Parents are advised not to send sick kids to school to prevent the spread of illness. Hepatitis A is a viral disease transmitted through fecal-oral route. It can be asymptomatic or cause mild symptoms in young children but can be dangerous.

To prevent hepatitis A spread and protect public health, everyone must follow these rules. The Ministry of Health is trying to stop the outbreak, but community help is also crucial.

Our Reader’s Queries

Is hepatitis A on the rise?

The number of hepatitis A cases has surged significantly from late 2016 to 2019. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, there were 3,366, 12,474, and 18,846 reported cases, respectively. The outbreaks were mainly among individuals who use drugs and those who are homeless. These incidents have been reported to the CDC, and the situation is concerning.

Is there a hepatitis A outbreak in 2023?

After conducting traceback and epidemiological investigations, it was discovered that individuals who fell ill with the outbreak-associated cases had purchased the same retail brand of frozen organic strawberries. As of September 4, 2023, there have been a total of 10 reported cases of hepatitis A linked to this brand in four different states.

What is the cause of the most recent Hep A outbreaks?

The latest update reveals that the hepatitis A virus strain responsible for the recent illnesses is the same as the one that caused the outbreak in 2022. This strain was linked to fresh organic strawberries imported from Baja California, Mexico, and sold at different retailers. The genetic identity of the virus remains unchanged, indicating a possible recurrence of the outbreak.

Is hepatitis A an epidemic?

Hepatitis A is a disease that can occur randomly or in outbreaks all over the world. These outbreaks can be caused by contaminated food or water and can spread quickly, as seen in the 1988 epidemic in Shanghai that affected a staggering 300,000 individuals. Recurrences of this disease tend to happen in cycles, making it important to stay vigilant and take preventative measures.

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