The winter months bring with them a variety of illnesses from the common cold to the flu. This year, Hepatitis A will be among that list not just as a seasonal illness, but one that has made state and national headlines.
Knox County students are required to have the Hepatitis A vaccination before enrolling in school, and those that haven’t had it that are already enrolled, should also be vaccinated.
The Knox County Health Department shares that one of the best preventative habits a person can develop is frequently washing their hands, especially after touching public surfaces.
“Hepatitis A is spreading in our state”, shared Rebecca Rains, Public Health Director for the Knox County Health Department.
“Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease that can easily be passed from person to person. Anyone can get hepatitis A. It spreads when people do not wash their hands before making food and drinks. It also spreads through close contact with people who have hepatitis A.”
Besides the vaccination, what is the best preventative measure? “Washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before making food and drinks can help stop the spread of hepatitis A and many other seasonal illnesses.”
Rains also shared that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not effective against the hepatitis A virus.
Below is a graphic showing the benefits of good hand washing for illness prevention: