Health Officials are Bringing Awareness to a Hepatitis A Outbreak

Nov 9, 2018

Health officials are raising awareness about a Hepatitis A outbreak.

Thirteen cases have been confirmed this year in Cuyahoga County. Board of Health spokesman Kevin Brennan say they usually see four cases in a year.

Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver. Early symptoms can be mistaken for the flu or food poisoning.

Brennan says there are certain at-risk populations with a greater chance of contracting it.

“Well the people we have identified through the outbreak have been, as I said, people who have direct contact with individuals who already identify with Hepatitis A:  Men who have sex with men, street drug users, those who are incarcerated, and people who are homeless. Those are really the largest groups that we’ve seen in an at-risk position right now.”

Brennan says that neighboring states including Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia have also reported outbreaks.

Hep. A can be prevented with a vaccine. Children as young as 1 years old are capable of receiving the vaccine.

Hepatitis A outbreak by county.
Credit OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Brennan says that if you have already contracted Hep. A there is no cure, it just has to run its course, which can take months.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is monitoring the issue and encouraging people to get vaccinated.

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