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Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Communicable  Diseases Subjects A-Z
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Disease Reporting

Hepatitis A virus infection 

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General information
Hepatitis A (formerly known as infectious hepatitis) is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. The disease is not uncommon; approximately 30-40 cases are reported each year in Wisconsin. Hepatitis A is still very common in developing countries. Unlike hepatitis B and hepatitis C, hepatitis A does not result in a chronic infection, nor is it associated with liver cancer

The hepatitis A virus enters through the mouth, multiplies in the body, and is passed in the stool, which becomes highly infectious. If careful handwashing with soap is not done, the virus can then be carried on an infected person's hands. From there, the virus can be spread to others by direct contact or by consuming food or drink that has been handled by that infected individual. In some cases, it can be spread by consuming water contaminated with sewage. Because the virus is passed in the stool, children with hepatitis Are who are not toilet trained can be an important source of the infection.

A highly effective vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis A.

Viral hepatitis home 

Food poisoning home 


Four Things You Should Know About Hepatitis

  1. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are all different diseases. Each type of hepatitis is caused by a different virus and spread in different ways. Hepatitis A does not cause a long-term infection, although it can make people very sick. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections and lead to serious health problems.
     

  2. Chronic hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis can cause serious damage to the liver, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.
     

  3. Most people with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected. More than 4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. Many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.
     

  4. Getting tested could save your life. Lifesaving care and treatments are available for chronic hepatitis, but getting tested is the only way to know if you are infected. Take the Hepatitis risk assessment (exit DHS) to see if you should be tested for viral hepatitis.

For more information regarding hepatitis, visit the following websites:

Information from the Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention
Hepatitis risk assessment (exit DHS)
CDC Viral hepatitis homepage (exit DHS)
Know more - hepatitis (exit DHS)

Hepatitis Fact Sheets from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services
 Hepatitis A 
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis C

Wisconsin HIV/STD/Hepatitis C - Information and referral center
http://www.irc-wisconsin.org  (exit DHS)

Information for health professionals

This is a Wisconsin disease surveillance category I disease:
Report IMMEDIATELY by TELEPHONE to the patient's local public health department upon identification of a confirmed or suspected case. The local health department shall then notify the state epidemiologist immediately of any confirmed or suspected cases. Submit a case report within 24 hours submit a case report electronically through the Wisconsin Electronic Surveillance System (WEDSS), by mail or fax using an Acute and Communicable Disease case report F44151 or by other means. 
Information on communicable disease reporting

Contacts

Wisconsin Local Health Departments - Regional offices - Tribal agencies

Jim Kazmierczak  DVM, WI State Public Health Veterinarian
Wisconsin Division of Public Health 
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-266-2154)  (Fax 608-261-4976)
  

Thomas Haupt  Influenza Coordinator
Wisconsin Division of Public Health 
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-266-5326)  (Fax 608-261-4976)

Last Revised: August 05, 2014