The São Paulo Municipal Health Department issued an epidemiological alert this week due to a high level of hepatitis A cases in the city. According to the bulletin from Cievs (Strategic Health Surveillance Information Center), as of September 15, 204 infections had been confirmed, a higher number than in the whole of last year and the third highest since 2007 (see the graph below). Among the confirmed cases from 2022 to 2023, the secretariat highlights that 70.8% were male; and 67.5% of patients were aged 19 to 40 years. See also Health Vaccines also help to contain the emergence of resistant bacteria Health Injection recently approved by Anvisa has effects comparable to those of bariatric surgery Health Learn about the symptoms of endometrial cancer, a disease faced by Marieta Severo Although the bulletin states that “there is none, until at the moment, a known source of common contamination among cases”, in 17.8% of the patients in which it was identified, the source was food or water. In 5.3% of those infected, sexual transmission was found. However, 73.3% of cases have not had the source of infection discovered so far. The city of São Paulo experienced an outbreak of hepatitis A in 2017 and 2018, with 689 and 486 infections recorded each year, respectively. At that time, sexual transmission was predominant. Bulletin shows increase in the number of hepatitis A cases in the capital of São Paulo Reproduction What is hepatitis A The MSD Diagnosis and Treatment Manual explains that “acute hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus lasting less than six months “. “In general, hepatitis A spreads when people ingest the virus after touching an object or consuming a food or drink contaminated with feces from an infected person (called the fecal-oral route). This spread often occurs due to poor hygiene; for For example, when an infected person prepares food without washing their hands. Shellfish caught from waters that receive untreated sewage outlets sometimes become contaminated and can cause infection when eaten raw”, details the medical guide. Virus can be transmitted by water contaminated with feces Freepik Symptoms usually appear 15 to 50 days after infection and last less than two months. “Infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV) can be asymptomatic, subclinical or cause an acute condition, almost always self-limited, associated with fatigue, malaise, fever, muscle pain, followed by gastrointestinal symptoms such as: nausea, vomiting, pain abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea. The presence of dark urine (choluria) may occur initially, and the infected person may also have yellowish skin and eyes [icterícia]”, adds the Cievs bulletin. Diagnosis is made through a blood test that detects anti-HAV antibodies. There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. It is only recommended to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages to avoid further damaging the liver during infection. Prevention Routine vaccination against hepatitis A is given to children aged 12 months to 2 years. “The inactivated hepatitis A vaccine has proven to be among the most immunogenic, safe and well tolerated. Approximately 100% of people develop protective levels of antibodies against the virus within a month after a single dose of the vaccine”, states the secretariat. Some people with specific clinical conditions can also be immunized on the public network, regardless of age. These are : carriers of chronic liver disease of any etiology, including carriers of HCV (hepatitis C virus); chronic carriers of HBV (hepatitis B virus); individuals with coagulopathies; patients with HIV/AIDS; with therapeutic immunosuppression or due to an immunosuppressive disease; with storage diseases; patients with cystic fibrosis (mucoviscidosis); trisomies; solid organ transplant candidates (registered in transplant programs); solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell (bone marrow) transplant recipients; solid organ or hematopoietic stem cells (bone marrow); registered in transplant programs; and individuals with hemoglobinopathies.
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