How Can I Help Prevent the Spread of Hepatitis A Virus?
Wash your hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom, with plenty of soap and running water for at least 20 seconds (long enough to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice).
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Highly contagious, the hepatitis A virus is usually transmitted by the fecal-oral route, either through person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water.
Contamination can occur when infected persons do not wash their hands properly after going to the bathroom and then touch other objects or food items. Surfaces that are frequently touched that should be cleaned and sanitized often include:
- Toilet Room Surfaces
- Light Switch Plates
- High Chairs
- Kitchen Surfaces
- Tables and Chairs
- Recreation Equipment
- Computer Keyboards
- Wheelchairs and Walkers
- Remote Controls
Hand Sanitizers vs. Hand Washing
- Washing hands with soap and water is recommended when possible as it is more effective than hand sanitizers.
- Most alcohol-based hand sanitizers are effective against bacteria, but they don’t do so well against viruses like the hepatitis viruses, mainly hepatitis A, or norovirus. A non-alcohol based hand sanitizer is most effective against these viruses.
How Should I Disinfect My Home or Business For Hepatitis A?
- Maintain routine and consistent cleaning of bathrooms for employees, public, and personal use. Using a chlorine-based disinfectant (bleach) with a ratio of 1 and 2/3 cup of bleach to one gallon of water (5000 ppm). Mix and use the chlorine solution promptly. Allow 1 minute of contact time. Due to the high bleach concentration of this mixture, rinse surfaces with water after 1 minute of contact time and wear gloves while cleaning. Use for stainless steel, food/mouth contact items, tile floors, nonporous surfaces, counters, sinks and toilets.
- Disinfection guidelines from Department of Environmental Health (PDF)
- Sanitation Procedures for Sidewalks and Public Right-of-Ways (PDF)