By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting a hepatitis A outbreak and is reminding the public the best way to prevent the infection is through vaccination.

Image/MDOH

Since May 2019, Minnesota has seen an increase of hepatitis A cases, which we have now identified as an outbreak.

As of Aug. 2, 23 cases, including 13 hospitalizations have been recorded. Pine County has seen the most cases with 5.

Minnesota’s outbreak-associated cases have risk factors consistent with the national outbreaks.

People at high risk in the current outbreaks include: People who use injection/non-injection drugs, people experiencing homelessness or unstable housing, people who are currently or were recently incarcerated and men who have sex with men (MSM).

Nationally, since the outbreaks were first identified in 2016, 29 states have publicly reported outbreaks, which include 23,638 total cases and 233 deaths.