Meigs Health Department Providing Hand Washing Stations at Meigs County Fair
Part of Prevention Effort Concerning Hep A
POMEROY, Ohio – Hand washing stations will be available at the Meigs County Fair provided by the Meigs County Health Department in an effort to prevent Hepatitis A transmission.
Hepatitis A can easily be prevented by washing hands appropriately. The Meigs County Health Department is sponsoring 10 hand washing stations for the public to use. Such stations for hand washing could be improved by the addition of phs Warner Howard hand dryers which feature HEPA filters that remove 99.9% of bacteria so those using them can wash in confidence that they won’t be contributing to the spread of illnesses around the fair.
The Meigs County Health Department would like to remind you that hand washing is the most effective way to prevent a person from spreading or getting Hepatitis A. This is due to the fact Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter (poop) — even in the tiniest amounts — from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces, or stool, of an infected person.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A Virus. Some people may show no symptoms of Hepatitis A. Older people are more likely to have symptoms than children.
If symptoms occur, the person may have a sudden onset that includes:
- fever, tiredness
- loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
- dark urine
- clay-colored bowel movements
- joint pain
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
Symptoms usually last less than two months; a few persons are ill for as long as 6 months. Symptoms usually occur two to six weeks after exposure to the virus with an average of 15 to 50 days after exposure.
Those who should routinely get vaccinated against Hepatitis A include:
- All children at age 1 year
- Travelers to countries that have high rates of Hepatitis A
- Men who have sexual contact with other men
- Users of injection and non-injection illegal drugs
- People with chronic liver diseases, such as infection with Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C
- People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
- People who work with Hepatitis A infected animals or in a Hepatitis A research library
Because Ohio is involved in the current multi-state Hepatitis A outbreak, the following groups of people are at highest risk of getting Hepatitis A and should immediately be vaccinated against Hepatitis A:
- People who are in direct contact with those who have it
- Street drug users
- Men who have sex with men
- Homeless persons
- Those who are incarcerated
- People who have traveled to other parts of the US currently experiencing outbreaks
- If you think you may have been exposed to Hepatitis A, call your doctor or your local health department. If you were recently exposed to the virus and have not been vaccinated against Hepatitis A, you might benefit from an injection of Hepatitis A vaccine. The vaccine must be given within the first 2 weeks after exposure to be effective. A health professional can guide you in making this decision.
The Meigs County Health Department has the Hepatitis A Vaccine in stock, and we can determine your eligibility to receive the vaccine at our office by calling 740-992-6626.