Wednesday 22 September 2021

Health Rules Out Hepatitis A Outbreak in Puntarenas

The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA) carried out a study that confirmed that potable water ingested by Puntarenas is safe for human consumption.

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A possible outbreak of hepatitis A, in at least 28 cases in Puntarenas, was ruled out after a field study conducted jointly by the Ministry of Health, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) and the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA).

The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA) carried out a study that confirmed that potable water ingested by Puntarenas is safe for human consumption. Photography: John Durán

Health and Caja authorities carried out health studies, while the water and sewer utility (AyA) carried out a water study in Puntarenas. Laboratory analyzes revealed that the water is completely safe for human consumption.

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Health authorities raised the alert after suspecting up to 162 patients of carrying the disease in the province.

Of this group of patients, 28 were finally confirmed with hepatitis A: 14 cases in Barranca, 4 in Puntarenas (ity), 6 in Chacarita, 1 in El Roble, 2 in Esparza and 1 in Jicaral. The average age of the patients is 30.

Symptoms

Hepatitis A signs and symptoms typically don’t appear until you’ve had the virus for a few weeks. But not everyone with hepatitis A develops them. If you do, hepatitis signs and symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sudden nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially on the upper right side beneath your lower ribs (by your liver)
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Dark urine
  • Joint pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Intense itching

These symptoms may be relatively mild and go away in a few weeks. Sometimes, however, hepatitis A infection results in a severe illness that lasts several months.

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