Hepatitis A cases have become prevalent this year, forcing the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) to urge people to follow the guidelines for hepatitis A prevention.
According to the KDCA, the nation reported more than 100 hepatitis A cases per week since the 11th week of 2021. This number is more than two folds from the same period of last year. Especially after the 30th week of July 18-24, the number of hepatitis A patients has been hitting record highs this year, except for the 2019 hepatitis A outbreak.
The majority of hepatitis A patients were aged between 30 and 49. This is probably because people born after 1970 were less exposed to the hepatitis A virus during childhood thanks to improved hygiene, and they did not receive vaccinations. Therefore, they are unlikely to have immunity to hepatitis A, the KDCA said.
Hepatitis A can be transmitted through contaminated water or food. To prevent it, people need to cook foods at a sufficiently high temperature and follow hygiene cooking rules.
Vegetables and fruits must be thoroughly washed or peeled.
The KDCA noted that eating raw shellfish could raise the risk of hepatitis A infection.
The agency recommended that shellfish be cooked at 90 or higher degrees Celsius for at least four months.