(a.k.a. Hep A or HAV)
Slogan: “I’m spread by poor hygiene, but now there’s a vaccine."
Habitat: The Hep A virus is often found in toilets, sewer lines and restrooms because people sick with the the virus shed it in their diarrhea.
Common food sources: Raw shellfish from contaminated waters, raw produce, contaminated drinking water, undercooked or cooked foods that are not reheated after contact with an infected food handler.
Illness: The infection causes inflammation of the liver. Symptoms include diarrhea, dark colored urine, jaundice and flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, nausea and abdominal pain). The illness may vary from mild to serious liver disease, lasting from two weeks to three months
How to avoid: The vaccine is recommended for children and for people traveling to underdeveloped countries. Protect yourself and others by washing your hands, especially after going to the bathroom, changing diapers and before preparing and eating food.