Hepatitis A is caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV). Transmission occurs by the fecal-oral route, either by direct contact with an HAV-infected person or by ingestion of HAV-contaminated food or water. Foodborne or waterborne hepatitis A outbreaks are relatively uncommon in the United States. However, food handlers with hepatitis A are frequently identified, and evaluation of the need for immunoprophylaxis and implementation of control measures are a considerable burden on public health resources. In addition, HAV-contaminated food may be the source of hepatitis A for an unknown proportion of persons whose source of infection is not identified.
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