Hepatitis-A is a viral infection that affects the liver with temporary or permanent damage.
It is different than Hepatitis-B and Hepatitis-C, in the sense that it is not as life threatening,
and it is not spread by blood or body fluids. It spreads by contaminated hands (or objects) from fecal (bm) contact.
Children between the ages of 1 and 2 years-old seem to get the sickest when infected;
that is why we routinely make a recommendation (not a requirement) to receive 2 doses
of the Hep-A-Vaccine, between 12 and 24 months of age. (see CDC Handout).
There have been sporadic cases of Hepatitis-A in WNY over the years; but, the incidence seems to be more frequent
lately, with two restaurants in Cheektowaga having workers test positive within the past two years.
The latest case was at a restaurant near our office; and others were subsequently infected as well.
The Erie County Department of Health did their usual fine job in identifying and communicating these cases;
Therefore it will be safe to eat/drink at these establishments without worry in the near future.
We will be increasing our efforts to educate, & vaccinate, as many patients as we can, as we move forward.
It remains a "recommended", and "not required", vaccine; but increased prevalence encourages us to
step-up the vaccination rate.