Incoming: Hepatitis A!!

The government of Taiwan is attempting to calm and quiet the fear of Taiwanese locals.  The government is hesitant to call the current condition as a beginning of the hepatitis A outbreak, from the Chinese mainland tourists.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on December 31, 2008, Taiwan will not likely receive the outbreak because, “it has good sanitary conditions.”

30am.

Trash fills the pockets of city streets in Taipei already by 8:30am.

In a published article by Liberty Times on December 31, 2008, it states that the risk of Taiwanese obtaining the virus would be likely if one is under thirty years of age.  Those within this age gap, regardless of gender, do not hold immunity to the virus.  The increase number of mainland Chinese tourists in Taiwan will increase the exposure and eventually lead to an epidemic.

The one place you do not want your child end up staying because they are not "sanitary".  We all know how children are, so BE SAFE!

The one place you do not want your child end up staying because they are not "sanitary". We all know how children are, so BE SAFE!

The virus is known to last from a few weeks to several months and generally transmitted by the “fecal-oral route” via contaminated food or drinking water.  HOWEVER!  One still has to be alarmed.  A flu is a virus too, it is not a simple bacteria that comes and go as it’s being fought off by our body’s T-cells.  General virus permanently stays in the body and at times may arise from time to time, for some people, annually.  Medicine may only suppress such viruses, but cannot cure.  Thankfully, Hepatitis A is more forgiving.  With proper and continued vaccination, in a matter of weeks, “the symptoms will have gone away on their own and the hepatitis A virus will no longer be in your system.”  Once recovered, one will from then be immune from any further contacts.

Please follow this link here for a good flow of explanation to exactly what a virus is.  Not all of us are clear on the definition, despite what we believe we might know.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that affects the liver.  It is transmitted by eating or drinking contaminated food and water.  The incubation period ranges from 15 days to seven weeks (average 28-30 days).  Symptoms may include fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, jaundice and tea-coloured urine.  As shellfish live in water and filter out minute living organisms as food, they can be easily contaminated by hepatitis A virus.  People may contract hepatitis A after consumption of contaminated shellfish that are not thoroughly cooked.

RELATIONSHIP B/W Hepatitis A AND Shellfish: Hepatitis A is a viral infection that affects the liver. It is transmitted by eating or drinking contaminated food and water. The incubation period ranges from 15 days to seven weeks (average 28-30 days). Symptoms may include: fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, jaundice and tea-coloured urine. As shellfish live in water and filter out minute living organisms as food, they can be easily contaminated by hepatitis A virus. People may contract hepatitis A after consumption of contaminated shellfish that are not thoroughly cooked. Stay away from raw seafood and check temperature when cooking.

“Some amount of risk may be involved,” however if the chef who had prepared the food was a carier of the virus, the chance of conamination would be great, according to CDC Deputy Director, Ling Ting (林頂).  Mr Ting recommends for all people prone to the virus, receive a hepatitis A vaccination by visiting local health clinics and hospitals.  The vaccination shots are to be received twice: the first provides only a protection for an estimation of half a year, and the second remains effective for a duration of twenty years.

Unfortunately, such vaccination is not covered by the healthcare system.  The sum of the vaccination costs in average, between $3,000 NTD and $4,000 NTD.

To prevent the chances of catching the virus: always wash your hands, do not touch your face, try to stay away from facial threading if possible, only use utensils when eating, and wear a mask when going out.  If possible, try to avoid going to large, crowded markets as they are outdoors and less sanitary than a grocery or department store.

LongShan Temple Market (LongShan Temple Station of the MRT)

LongShan Temple Market (LongShan Temple Station of the MRT)

A woman receives a traditional face-threading treatment in Kaohsiung County on October 21, 2007.

A woman receives a traditional face-threading treatment in Kaohsiung County on October 21, 2007.

ShiLin Night Market (JienTan station of the MRT)

ShiLin Night Market (JienTan station of the MRT)

For any and all travelers, the vaccine is recommended for all those over one year of age and be given “at least two weeks” prior to departure.  A booster should be given six to twelve months following the first shot for continuable prevention.  Side effects are minor as they may include: soreness at the injection site, headache, and malaise.

  • ELDERLIES, PREGNANT WOMEN, and CHRONIC MEDICAL
    CONDITIONS PATIENTS
    who have under two weeks before
    departure should receive a single intramuscular dose of
    immune globulin (0.02 mL/kg) at a separate
    anatomic injection site in addition to the initial vaccine.
  • CHILDREN UNDER ONE YEAR OF AGE or allergic to the
    vaccine should receive a single intramuscular dose of
    immune globulin
    instead.

CONTACTS (HOSPITALS IN TAIPEI AREA):

Tzu Chi General Hospital          02-66289779    *(ext: 5501-5507)
Health consultation:    02-66285600
No.289, Jianguo Rd., Xindian City, Taipei County 231

Taipei City Hospital                    02-2552-3234
145 Zheng Zhou Road, Taipei City

Taipei Central Clinic                   02-27510221
77 ChungHsiao E. Rd. Sect. 4, Taipei City

Yang Ming Hospital                     02-28389145 ,   02-29353456 ,   02-29343848
105 Yu-sheng Rd., Shi-Lin, Taipei County

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~ by Lan on 2008 ThuUTC2009-01-01T12:24:58+00:00. 15.

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