News & Training




Hepatitis A: What We Know. Who It Affects. How to Prevent.

The Latest on the Outbreak Reaching Over 2 Dozen States.


Gojo - Hepatitis A

What We Know:

The national hepatitis A outbreak covers 29 states and nearly 24,000 cases.

Since the outbreaks have been identified in 2016, cases have led to over 14,300 hospitalizations and caused 236 deaths. Currently, public health emergencies have been declared in Florida and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

While the CDC is monitoring the outbreaks, people should have an awareness of the symptoms.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Yellow Skin or Eyes
  • Feeling Tired
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Upset Stomach or Stomach Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dark Urine or Light-Colored Stool
  • Joint Pain
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

Who It Affects:

Anyone who is not vaccinated can be infected. Once contracted, the virus infects the liver and is spread through the feces of people who have contracted the virus.

  • People infected are contagious two weeks before showing symptoms, and not everyone infected will show symptoms.
  • The virus can spread from objects, food, drinks and, according to the CDC, primarily among people using drugs or living in poor sanitary conditions.
  • In high-risk environments like restaurants, hospitals and schools, good hygiene is critical for prevention.

For general information, the CDC’s hepatitis A outbreak fact sheet is a great resource.1


How to Prevent:

The CDC and other health professionals recommend prevention via vaccination, escalated handwashing and improved hand hygiene.

GOJO supports the CDC recommendations and suggest the following steps for prevention:

    1. Know the Symptoms
      Know the symptoms of hepatitis A. Make sure you are self-monitoring for symptoms like fever, lethargy, nausea and other symptoms mentioned above.

      Any employees exhibiting these symptoms, or who are diagnosed with hepatitis A, should be excluded from work until receiving a doctor's clearance.

    1. Educate People on the Risks
      Educate friends, families and co-workers on the risk of hepatitis A virus.

      Business owners are encouraged to reach out to local health departments or educational partners for support and materials to share with employees.

    1. Emphasize Good Hygiene Practices
      One of the easiest preventative measures is proper handwashing done frequently (wash for 20 seconds with soap and water).

    1. Vigilant Cleaning Practices
      Be vigilant about cleaning and sanitizing. Be sure to routinely disinfect high-risk areas with a product that has a quick hepatitis A kill claim, such as PURELL® Professional Surface Disinfectant or PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizer.

  1. Vaccinate
    Know that hepatitis A virus is preventable with a vaccine. It’s two shots, 6-months apart, but provides a lifetime immunity.

    Visit for vaccination recommendations. Many adults are unvaccinated as the hepatitis A vaccination was added to the Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule in 2006.


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