Nearly seventy people have contracted hepatitis A in the Republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus region, according to a Moscow Times report.
The 69 cases of the viral disease were recorded in 3 different places in the North Caucasus republic: the towns of Derbent and Dagestanskiye Ogni and the village of Gedzhukh. 58 of those infected were children (84%).
Russia’s health watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor says laboratory testing reveals that the local water supply was to blame for the outbreak.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. 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 feces or stool from an infected person.
Not everyone has symptoms. If symptoms develop, they usually appear 2 to 6 weeks after becoming infected and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and jaundice.
There is no specific treatment once symptoms appear, but a vaccination can help lessen the effects of the disease if given within 14 days of exposure. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page
The best way to control the spread of hepatitis A and many other illnesses is through proper hand washing, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food. Hand washing should include 20 seconds of vigorous soaping of all parts of the hands, especially between fingers and under fingernails.