A Oahu man in his 30’s who contracted hepatitis A may need a liver transplant, according to a Honolulu news source. A hepatitis A outbreak that began in June on the Hawaiian Island has seen at least 52 illnesses to date.
According to KHON 2 report last week, the patient has been transferred to Queen’s Medical Center in case a transplant is required. Doctors believe he may have an underlying medical condition that made the hepatitis A case this severe.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts — from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces, or stool, of an infected person.
Almost all people who get Hepatitis A recover completely and do not have any lasting liver damage, although they may feel sick for months. Hepatitis A can sometimes cause liver failure and death, although this is rare and occurs more commonly in persons 50 years of age or older and persons with other liver diseases, such as Hepatitis B or C.