Queensland on Alert over Hepatitis A Outbreak at Gympie RSL Club

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A grave health alert has been publicized recently, following the confirmation of a Hepatitis A case in an urban city of Queensland. The Public Health Unit of Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) confirmed Monday that they are actively observing a case involving a resident of Gympie, located to the north of Brisbane.

Hepatitis A, alternatively referred to as infectious hepatitis, is a viral infection that targets the liver, deriving from the Hepatitis A virus itself. The virus commonly spreads via personal contact, more specifically through the faecal-oral pathway. This involves the contamination of any object, food or water by the faeces of an infected person, which subsequently comes into contact with another person’s mouth.

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In this case, the infected individual happens to be employed at Gympie’s regional RSL club, the SCHHS disclosed in an official statement. In collaboration with RSL’s management, they are seeking out those who may have had exposure to the infected individual during the infectious stages and consequently, are at high risk of contracting Hepatitis A.

The SCHHS, in its statement, impelled those who visited the Gympie RSL club since July to remain vigilant about their health. They are advised to consult their general practitioners immediately if they experience any symptoms associated with Hepatitis A. Such symptoms may range from fever, general aches and pains, nausea, lack of appetite to abdominal discomfort. Acute cases of Hepatitis A can exhibit dark urine, jaundice-like symptoms, and pale-coloured bowel movements.

Per Queensland Health’s records, adults are more prone to contracting the disease than children and can manifest as a severe and debilitating ailment that can last several months. The average period from exposure to the virus until symptom development is about four weeks, with fluctuations between two to seven weeks, SCHHS mentioned in their statement. In exceptional scenarios, it can lead to liver failure and potentially, fatalities.

The foremost preventative measures against the virus’s transmission are practising good hygiene, maintaining high handwashing standards, not attending work or childcare whilst being sick, and getting the Hepatitis A vaccination.

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