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Fear Factor in Toronto: health officials fight Hepatitis A outbreak

by Medindia Content Team on  November 28, 2006 at 11:58 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
Fear Factor in Toronto: health officials fight Hepatitis A outbreak
More than a month has lapsed now, since a major out break of hepatitis A, a viral infection, was reported from a neighborhood in Toronto, Canada. Almost 20 cases have been identified for treatment, so far. Most of the causalities that have been diagnosed with this sickening illness happen to be students from the Elmbank Middle school.
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Following the alert from health officials, more than 900 residents from the West end of Toronto have been given vaccinations for the prevention of contagion. Parents of children, who attend Elmbank Middle School, undoubtedly, were worried sick about their children. Most parents were unaware about the sporadic outbreak until this Monday. However the school authorities have taken up the responsibility of conducting over 3 immunization rounds so far since the outbreak was brought to their notice. The school intends to conduct yet another vaccination clinic over the next weekend. Health authorities have reassured the parents of the children who attend Elmbank Middle school that it is highly unlikely that the school was the source of viral infection. Health officials, presume that this infectious outbreak could have been the result of cross infection from individuals ,traveling to Canada from other destinations.

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Toronto Public Health Department is, in the meantime, investigating into the reasons, that could have triggered of this sudden outbreak. They have assured the public that there is no reason to panic as situation is well under control.

Hepatitis A is a disease caused by a virus ,that affects the liver. It is typically heralded by yellow discoloration of skin and eyeballs (jaundice).Often the patients complain of fever and retching. They find themselves nauseous and feel extremely tired and worn out. However, the disease is transient, and passes off in few weeks, depending on severity of condition. Officials notified that the infection spreads by contamination of food and water with the stools of an infected person. So the high alert is on to ensure that precautions are taken to avoid contamination of food and water.

All residents in the neighborhood, affected by the outbreak, have been cautioned to adhere to hygienic methods; washing hands with soap and water before and after meals, before cooking and after ablutions is mandatory informed health officials. These measures will ensure that the epidemic is quelled.

Source: Medindia
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