West Central and Central Florida, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and the Orlando area, respectively recorded the most cases. 96% of cases (534) have likely been acquired locally 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.
The most commonly identified risk factor was drug use, reported by 263 (49%) of the 534 cases acquired in Florida. Injection drug use was just as common a risk factor as non-injection drug use.
Health officials say in 2018, 99 (18%) of 559 total cases of hepatitis A were epidemiologically linked to other cases.
In 2018, 386 (72%) cases likely acquired in Florida have been hospitalized because of their hepatitis A infection, and 2 cases have died as a direct result of hepatitis A infection.
The Florida Department of Health remind us that the best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is through vaccination. In 2018, 97% of people with hepatitis A had never received a documented dose of hepatitis A vaccine.
Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all children at age 1 year and for certain high-risk groups of adults including illegal drug users and men who have sex with men (MSM).
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