At a time when outbreaks of hepatitis A are commonly showing up throughout the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced a shortage in hepatitis A vaccines. As small outbreaks appear in various states, the demand for hepatitis A vaccines has grown. This shortage has many public health officials concerned and they are urging people at risk of hepatitis A exposure to get testing.
Hepatitis A is usually spread through the mouth when contact is made with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person. While hepatitis A can be transmitted through sexual contact, it is more commonly transmitted through contaminated food and water. This happens when a person does not wash their hands before handling these items.
The symptoms of hepatitis A can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay colored stools, joint pain and jaundice. According to the CDC, symptoms will usually appear about 4 weeks after initial exposure.
According to the CDC, there were around 2,500 acute cases of hepatitis A in the United States in 2014. The rate of hepatitis A in the U.S. were the lowest they had been in four decades. The hepatitis A vaccine was introduced to the public in 1995 and health professionals now routinely vaccinate all children, travelers to certain countries, and persons at risk for the disease. Many experts believe hepatitis A vaccination is directly responsible for the decrease in this type of infection over the past two decades.
Now, as outbreaks of the virus become more prevalent, vaccine manufacturers have been having trouble keeping up with vaccination demands. “Current supply is not sufficient to support demand for vaccine,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told press outlets in a prepared statement.
If a person is infected with hepatitis A, it is possible for them to have other infections as well. If you believe that you may have been exposed to hepatitis A, you should seek medical care right away. If you believe that you may have been exposed to any STD, you should get tested Symptoms will not always be obvious. The best way to know the current status of your sexual health is to have STD testing performed.