Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) can cause liver inflammation.  HAV is highly contagious.  The most common method of transmission of this virus is from the infected persons through the fecal-oral route.  When infected persons use the restroom and do not wash their hands thoroughly, undetected amounts of stool can contaminate the food they subsequently handle.  This food, when ingested by another individual, can cause infection.  It can also spread from person to person if they are in close contact with the infected individual. 
Children under six years of age are usually asymptomatic (have no symptoms), but infected adults can have symptoms that can last up to 2 months.  In 10-15% of the infected adults, the symptoms can last for up to six months.  Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, joint pain, and jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin).  Symptoms can appear 3-4 weeks after exposure and the likelihood of symptoms appearing increases with age.
The easiest method of preventing HAV infection is by vaccination.  The number of Hepatitis A cases fell after the vaccine was introduced in 1995.  Hepatitis A vaccine has been a part of routine childhood immunizations in the U.S. since 2006. 
Hepatitis A is of particular concern when Food Service workers are infected or are in contact with someone who is infected.  This can result in HAV outbreaks when the infected workers handle food.  Recently in Salt Lake City, Utah, in response to the ongoing HAV outbreak, the county Board of Heath amended “Health Regulation #5: Food Sanitation,” requiring all the food workers in an establishment to be vaccinated if even only one of them has been in contact with a person who is infected with HAV.
The Prompt: What you need to do.
Read the Food Safety News article provided (link below).
 http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/02/county-requires-hepatitis-a-vaccines-for-some-food-workers/#.Wnx0Hq6nGUk (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Do your own scientific research.  Find one or more peer-reviewed publications from scientific journals or credible government organizations to build your knowledge on this topic.  You will need to understand:

how HAV spreads;
who is at risk;
what are the consequences of the infection; and
the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Use at least 1 other scientific article. How to find resources for discussion walks you through the process of finding peer reviewed articles for research.  In your discussion, cite your sources appropriately (APA format) and at the end of your discussion, list your references in APA  format.
Details and Requirements: How to Get the Full Grade for This Discussion
Discussion Statement: HAV vaccination should be mandatory for all food service workers in the U.S. in order to prevent a potential outbreak.
Pick a side FOR or AGAINST this statement.  (You must choose a ‘side,’ even if you are personally ‘neutral’ on the subject.)  Your arguments should be scientifically based with appropriate citations.  In making your case take into account the following:
1. What are the different modes of transmission for HAV?  How is the HAV similar to, or different from, the influenza virus?  If a person becomes infected with HAV, does he/she have lifelong immunity?  How long is the vaccine effective?
2. Is it acceptable for a county health board to mandate HAV vaccination for food service workers in an effort to prevent an outbreak?
3. For those of us who work, or choose to work in some capacity in Food Service establishments (cooking or handling or serving food), do we have an ethical or moral responsibility to get vaccinated to prevent an HAV outbreak?  What about those who work in food service who are not in direct contact with food?  Should someone who frequently eats food prepared by others consider getting vaccinated?
4. Who is responsible to keep our food supply safe and to prevent outbreaks?
(Your first post should be 500-750 words excluding references.)
Read and understand the article and the discussion statement.  Pick a ‘side’.

Find one or more peer-reviewed publications from scientific journals to support your viewpoint.
Cite the scientific sources that support your argument.  (This does not mean you do a google search.  Journal articles are considered as the ‘gold standard’ of scientific research. Find journal articles that support your point of view).  Look at How to find resources for a discussion for an example on how to find credible sources.
Use APA format (http://www.apastyle.org/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.) to cite your sources within your text and to list your references at the end of your first post.
Respond to one or more of your classmates, preferably one with an opposing point of view, to further the discussion.

See the rubric for more detailed grading criteria (discussion rubric is in the resources module. It is the first module that appears when you click the ‘modules’ tab).

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