Hepatitis A outbreaks aren’t uncommon—unfortunately, many people, including some in the food service industry, aren’t great about washing their hands or following basic food safety. What’s unusual about the current Hepatitis A outbreak is that it’s orders of magnitudes larger than usual, and travelers are spreading it across state lines.
What authorities want to warn you about: if you’re traveling to a state with an outbreak (even if it’s not the same city) make sure you’re vaccinated against Hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is very contagious, so prevention is key. Make sure that you’re thoroughly washing your hands after going to the bathroom, and do your best to make sure you’re only eating foods that have been prepared safely (are employees washing hands? Wearing gloves if that’s the local law?).
Hepatitis A is mainly transmitted through the fecal/oral route, which is why prevention is so critical, and so effective. Like other liver diseases, symptoms include stomach ache, dark (soda) colored urine, light stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), as well as flu-like symptoms like fever, fatigue, and lack of appetite.
While most people recover after a few weeks without lasting damage, some people may have severe symptoms leading to hospitalization or even death. If you experience Hepatitis A symptoms, seek medical help.
There are many reasons to travel, but fairs, and the food they serve, are a popular one (and what states like Indiana are worried about). Enjoy your summer with a little bit of basic caution, and make sure to pack some extra protection with colloidal silver immune support.