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Hepatitis A

Last update: 2022-11-16

Key facts

Transmission

  • Unwashed hands
  • Food or water contaminated by waste from people
  • Unwashed fruits and vegetables/food washed or prepared with contaminated water
  • Close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with a sick person (not passed through casual contact)

Most vulnerable to severe consequences

  • Adults often develop more severe symptoms than children

Symptoms

  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of the skin and/or mucosae (jaundice)

** Many people (especially children) show no symptoms, even though they are infected and can spread the disease **

If an epidemic occurs

Monitoring the community and identifying sick people

Treatment and management

Sanitation and waste management

Hand hygiene

  • Promote good hand hygiene (handwashing with soap)
    • BEFORE: preparing food; eating; feeding a child; treating wounds; or caring for sick people
    • AFTER: using the toilet or cleaning a baby; touching garbage or waste; touching or feeding animals; blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing; treating wounds; or caring for sick people

Food and water hygiene and safety

  • Encourage household water treatment for safe drinking water
    • Store water in clean, covered water container
  • Promote thorough cleaning, cooking, and storage of food
    • Cover and store food safely (protected from insect/animal contamination)
    • Use clean utensils and storage containers
  • Encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and complementary breastfeeding until the age of two years (especially when a child is sick) 

Social mobilization and health promotion

  • Find out the specific advice being given by health and other relevant authorities
  • Offer support and encouragement to follow the advice 
    • Try to gain understanding about if and why health practice advice is not being followed 
    • With the guidance of your supervisor and health authorities, work with communities to overcome barriers to following health advice and recommended practices

Immunization

  • Support routine and mass vaccination campaigns

Community-based assessment - questions

  1. Make a map of the community.
  2. Mark the following information on the map:
  3. Record the following information on the back of the map: