By NewsDesk @bactiman63
Health officials in Clark County, Nevada have declared a hepatitis A outbreak after reporting a significant increase in the number of acute hepatitis A cases.
Between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2019, there have been 37 reported acute hepatitis A cases, compared to 17 reported cases in 2018, no reported case in 2017, and six reported cases in 2016 during the same period.
“This current outbreak of hepatitis A in our community is an unfortunate but important reminder of why vaccines are vital to both our individual and community health,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District.
Risk factors in this outbreak, like outbreaks reported throughout the country, include people who use drugs and those experiencing homelessness. Of the 37 reported cases, 86 percent were people who used drugs, and 65 percent were among people experiencing homelessness.
Hepatitis A is commonly spread from person-to-person through the fecal-oral route. Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and light-colored stools.
Vaccination is the best prevention against hepatitis A. Practicing good hygiene can also help prevent the transmission of hepatitis A. Wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.
Nationally since the outbreaks were first identified in 2016, 23 states have publicly reported 20,133 cases, including 11,595 hospitalizations and 191 deaths through June 14, 2019.
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