Curb the Spread of the Hepatitis Virus

Handwashing and surface disinfection help prevent hepatitis A

August 20, 2019

Three years since the latest hepatitis A outbreak was identified in the United States, 29 affected states have reported 23,978 cases of the virus, with 60% (14,330) of the cases requiring hospitalization and 236 of the cases resulting in death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection primarily spread through ingestion of fecal matter found on contaminated hands, food, drinks, or surfaces. Facilities that offer foodservice can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A by reviewing their food safety plans and following established procedures for foodborne pathogens. GOJO Industries offers tips to help facility managers and professional cleaners reduce the spread of the hepatitis A virus:

  1. Encourage workers to get a hepatitis A vaccination.Hepatitis A has only been part of the recommended vaccine schedule for children since 2006, so many adults remain unvaccinated.
  2. Ensure workers practice good hand hygiene, especially after using the restroom or before eating or preparing food. In addition, food service workers should wash their hands before putting on disposable gloves, handling or serving food, or cleaning equipment. Proper handwashing entails using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure to rub the entire hand, including both sides, between the fingers, and especially the fingertips.
  3. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and public restroom faucets.

Learn disinfecting tips for various types and shapes of high-touch surfaces in your facility.

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