Local Health Officials Warn of Health Risks of Hepatitis A

BECKLEY–  This month the state health department announced that Hepatitis A is on the incline in West Virginia with over 90 cases being confirmed, mainly in Putnam & Kanawha counties.

So what exactly is Hepatitis A? Candace Hurd, a nurse at the Raleigh County Health Department, explains that it is typically transferred through food.

“Hepatitis is an infection that affects the liver and its something that spreads through a fecal oral contamination,” she said.

Hurd adds that one of the main ways to contract the liver infection is through eating uncooked foods that potentially have been contaminated.

After catching the virus it can take up to 60 days before you start seeing serious symptoms.

“Abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, if you feel excessively tired, the biggest thing is the whites in your eyes may start to turn yellow, those would be things you’d want to be seen for.”

Though hepatitis can easily be treated, it still can be a fatal disease in some cases.

In order to make sure you don’t contract the virus its suggested you do two simple things:

“The main thing is through hand washing and the fact we offer hepatitis vaccines.”

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com