Oman health: Hygiene key to fighting Hepatitis A, say medics after outbreak in South Sharqiyah

Oman Monday 02/May/2016 15:35 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman health: Hygiene key to fighting Hepatitis A, say medics after outbreak in South Sharqiyah

Muscat: Maintaining personal hygiene and good hygienic food habits can ward off Hepatitis A, medics said in the wake of outbreak of the disease in the South Sharqiyah region.
Citing epidemiological surveillance statistics, an official from the Ministry of Health said that there is an increase in the number of Hepatitis A cases in South Sharqiyah Governorate.
Hepatitis A signs and symptoms, which typically don't appear until a patient had the virus for a few weeks, may include, fatigues, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, especially in the area of liver on right side beneath lower ribs and loss of appetite.
The hepatitis A virus is excreted in feces and transmitted by ingesting contaminated food or water. An infected person can transmit hepatitis to others if they do not take strict sanitary precautions, such as thoroughly washing hands before food preparation.
According to MOH, a total of 136 cases were reported from South Al Sharqiyah Governorate from January1 t0 April 25.
The MOH statement added that most of the reported cases are from Asila village (76 per cent) from Jaalan Bani Bu Ali.
However, results of water samples collected from Asial village’s different sources are normal.
“The ministry of regional municipalities and water resources has been notified about the situation to carry out the required measures,” the official said adding that the health ministry has undertaken many measures to contain the increase in Jaalan Bani Bu Ali.
“The medical teams have intensified efforts to spread awareness to parents and community on the disease’s transmission methods and preventive measures,” the official added.
According to the official, the reason behind the increase due to person-to-person transmission and is not connected with one source or via food suppliers either in the school or community level.
“Hepatitis A spreads mainly through contaminated food and water People should make sure that the food and water they consume is hygiene,” Dr Basheer, senior internist at Badr Al Samaa, told Times of Oman.
“If you're traveling in regions where hepatitis A outbreaks occur, peel and wash all fresh fruits and vegetables yourself and avoid raw or undercooked meat and fish. Drink bottled water and use it when brushing your teeth. Don't drink beverages of unknown purity, with or without ice. If bottled water isn't available, boil tap water before drinking it,” the internist added.
Dr Geetha Kumar, a senior medic at a hospital in Ibri, said that people should drink only boiled water and avoid stale food.
“Avoid eating from hotels, keep hands always clean and also kitchen and your utensils,” the medic added.