In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak in Florida, state health officials reported 100 cases in the month of November.
This brings the total this year to 413 in 30 counties. The central Florida region has the highest hepatitis A activity levels so far this year. In 2018, 95% of cases have likely been acquired locally in Florida.
Two fatalities have been reported.
Twenty percent of cases are linked to each other and nearly one-quarter of cases had co-infection with hepatitis B or C.
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 experiencing homelessness.
The number of reported hepatitis A cases more than doubled from 2016 to 2017 after remaining relatively constant in previous years. Case counts in 2018 have exceeded those seen in previous years.
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Health officials report so far in 2018, 98% of people with hepatitis A had never received a documented dose of hepatitis A vaccine. In November, 95% of infected people had not received the vaccine.
Individuals with any of these risk factors should receive the hepatitis A vaccine, and providers are encouraged to actively offer the hepatitis A vaccine to individuals at risk. Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A infection.
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