By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Florida Department of Health reported an addition 53 hepatitis A cases last week, bringing the total number of outbreak cases in 2019 to 2,034. Pasco, Pinellas and Volusia counties continue to see the most cases this year.
In total from January 1, 2018 through July 27, 2019, 2,582 hepatitis A cases were reported, including 28 deaths (Through June 30, 2019).
Since January 1, 2018, approximately 98 percent of Florida’s cases have likely been acquired in Florida. Cases likely acquired in Florida share several common risk factors including drug use (both injection and non-injection drugs), identifying as men who have sex with men, and recently experiencing homelessness.
Earlier this month, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez and Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees meet with Martin County elected officials and community stakeholders on to address the Hepatitis A outbreak.
“Governor DeSantis and I agree that the health and safety of Floridians is our number one priority,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “We are working closely with Surgeon General Rivkees, the CDC and our community partners to aggressively respond to Hepatitis A in our state.”
“The fact remains that while we continue to investigate the causes as to why this outbreak is happening and find ways to mitigate the effects of this disease, vaccination and education remain key components to prevention and these efforts must continue”, said Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees.
Nationally since the outbreaks were first identified in 2016, 25 states have publicly reported 22,566 hepatitis A cases and 221 deaths.
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