The number of hepatitis A cases continue to rise in Florida, State health officials reported 232 additional cases in February 2019, bringing the outbreak total to 971 cases since last year.

Image/Florida DOH
Image/Florida DOH

The cases reported in February were from 30 of Florida counties.

Of the total outbreak cases, 3/4s of the patients required hospitalization and five died.

Since January 1, 2018, 13 (1%) cases were co-infected with chronic hepatitis B, 207 (21%) cases were co-infected with chronic hepatitis C, and 20 (2%) cases were co-infected with both chronic hepatitis B and C.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is through vaccination. Since January 1, 2018, 97% of people with hepatitis A had never received a documented dose of hepatitis A vaccine. In February 2019, 98% of infected people had not received the 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.