Florida state health officials reported this weekend that they have been in contact with Vermont health officials regarding a recent death reported in Vermont of an individual who had possible contact with suspected hepatitis A cases in Martin County.
“We are aware of this unfortunate death in Vermont,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “Our state and county health teams are in regular communication with the Vermont Department of Health, and at this time, we are awaiting the completion of their investigation. We will provide Floridians with any relevant information as it becomes available.”
“We are working with health officials from Vermont to determine if there is a link between the tragic death of this gentleman and Hepatitis A in Florida,” said Dr. Carina Blackmore, Florida State Epidemiologist.
Ben Truman, spokesperson for the Vermont Department of Health, said Florida and Vermont health officials are keeping each other informed. “Our sympathies go out to the family and friends who are struggling with the loss of their loved ones,” Truman said. “We are working closely with Martin County and Florida public health agencies throughout our investigation and will continue to keep each other updated.
Through April 11, Martin County health officials have reported 19 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A and 3 deaths associated with complications from the virus.
During a press conference Friday to discuss the recent outbreak of hepatitis A in Martin County and across the state, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced that they have published a new webpage, www.floridahealth.gov/hepa, to educate Floridians on how you can protect yourself from hepatitis A and the steps you can take to prevent the spread of infection. They have also provided a dedicated phone line, 1-844-CALL-DOH (844) 225-5364), and a dedicated email inbox, firstname.lastname@example.org, for any concerns regarding hepatitis A.
Statewide, 1,239 hep A cases have been reported from 2018 through Mar. 2019.
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