Hepatitis A is spreading rapidly in South Korea
People from 30 to 40 years old have been exposed to the disease
/NOVOSTIVL/ The health authority has raised concerns about hepatitis A infections that have increased rapidly in Seoul and its surrounding areas. This article appeared in The Korea Times.
Officials are alarmed because nearly three-quarters of the patients are in their 30s and 40s, who are usually believed to be have more resistance to the disease.
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or through direct contact with an infected person. Symptoms include fatigue, sudden nausea and vomiting, and abdominal pain or discomfort.
According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), 3,597 cases had been reported as of Friday, up 2.4 times from the same period last year. In addition, the number has already surpassed the total outbreaks of last year, at 2,346.
By age, the number of patients in their 30s stood at 1,346 and that of people in their 40s was 1,265, together accounting for 72.6 percent of the total. In addition, 485 patients belonged to the 20 to 29 age group, accounting for 13.5 percent.
"The best way to prevent hepatitis A is vaccination. The vaccine must be given in two shots six months apart," the official said.