News Alerts

14 Jan 2019 | 12:15 AM UTC

US: Hepatitis A outbreak continues in Ohio

United States of America News Alert

Hepatitis A outbreak continues in Ohio; at least 1311 cases reported in 2018

TIMEFRAME expected from 1/10/2019, 12:00 AM until 1/19/2019, 11:59 PM (America/New_York). COUNTRY/REGION Ohio

Event

Health officials have reported at least 1311 cases of hepatitis A in Ohio in 2018, including 821 hospitalizations and four fatalities. The most affected areas include Butler, Montgomery, and Franklin counties. Further spread of the disease is possible over the near term.

Context

Hepatitis A is transmitted via food and water that has been contaminated by human fecal material containing the virus. The incubation period is between 15 and 50 days. In approximately 90 percent of cases the infected person presents no symptoms. In cases where symptoms are present the patient may display flu-like symptoms, long-term fatigue (lasting weeks or months), headaches, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, hives, and muscle and joint pain. In some cases the individual may complain of discomfort in the upper right portion of the abdomen (liver). A gradual yellowing of the skin may also be observed, which can last up to a month. Given that symptoms of Hepatitis A are rare and easily confused with other illnesses, a doctor should be consulted in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Advice

Individuals in or considering travel to the area are advised to contact their medical provider regarding vaccination. To reduce exposure to the virus, exercise proper personal hygiene and food sanitation measures: wash hands regularly, and eat only thoroughly cooked foods.

 

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