The Genesee County Health Department has confirmed a case of hepatitis A associated with the Flint City Lock-up. Individuals who were in the Flint City Lock-up between February 27 to March 22 may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Image/David Benbennick
Image/David Benbennick

Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days after exposure. Anyone who was in the Flint City Lock-up during these dates and has not been vaccinated for hepatitis A or who has a sudden onset of any symptoms should contact their doctor.

The Genesee County Health Department will host a special hepatitis A vaccination clinic as follows:

Saturday, March 24, 2:00 -5:30 pm, at the Genesee County Health Department Burton Branch, G-3373 S. Saginaw St., Burton

The hepatitis A vaccine is also available through some healthcare providers and many pharmacies. Call ahead to ensure your provider or pharmacy has the vaccine available.

Regular clinic hours for hepatitis A vaccinations at the Genesee County Health Department Burton Branch are as follows:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:00 – 11:00 am and 1:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 1:00 – 4:00 pm and Thursday evening by appointment

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. The virus is shed in feces and is most commonly spread from person to person by unclean hands contaminated with feces. Symptoms of infection may include sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, and/or vomiting often followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Symptoms may appear from 14-50 days after exposure, but average about one month.

Michigan is currently experiencing a serious outbreak of hepatitis A.

To reduce the risk of hepatitis A:

  • Get the hepatitis A vaccine.
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing and eating food. Rub hands vigorously with soap and warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces areas, especially while someone in the household or workplace has symptoms. Particular care needs to be taken with areas such as toilets, sinks, trash, door knobs, and faucet handles.
  • Do not prepare food if you have symptoms, and refrain from food preparation for at least three days after symptoms have ended.