The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is encouraging vaccination and good hygiene to stop the spread of hepatitis A in the community.

Martin County, FL
Image/David Benbennick

To date, 24 confirmed cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Martin County, including four deaths associated with complications from the virus.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease primarily spread by direct or indirect person to person contact. While normally not fatal, persons with chronic disease, compromised immune systems and the elderly are more likely to experience a severe illness, leading to liver failure and possible death.

The hepatitis A vaccine is available in the community via healthcare providers and local pharmacies. The Florida Department of Health in Martin County offers free hepatitis A vaccinations for uninsured, underinsured and at-risk adults (ages 19 and older) on an appointment or walk-in basis. Appointments are available by calling: 772-221-4000 and pressing option 4 for Clinic Services/Appointments.

Subscribe to Outbreak News TV

Anyone experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A, including fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, diarrhea, clay colored bowl movements, joint pain and jaundice (yellow skin/eyes) should contact their healthcare provider immediately for evaluation and testing.

Statewide from January 1, 2018 through June 15, 2019, 2,109 hepatitis A cases were reported. Through May 31, 21 fatalities have been reported in the state.