Hepatitis A – United States

Southern Ohio counties of Pickaway and Ross see an increase in Hepatitis A cases with neighboring states at an increased risk as well.

Pickaway has a confirmed total of 75 new cases, and Ross has 85 new cases. Franklin county has 472 confirmed cases.

It is recommended for people to get the Hepatitis A vaccine to mitigate chances of contracting the virus.

People at increased risk for hepatitis A in this outbreak include people who: use street drugs, are experiencing homelessness, have traveled to other affected US areas, have been incarcerated, have been in direct contact with infected peoples, and are men who have sex with men.Hepatitis A is an infectious disease of the liver caused by Hepatovirus A. Many cases have few or no symptoms, especially in the young.

When symptoms occur, they typically last 8 weeks and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, fever, and abdominal pain. Acute liver failure may rarely occur, with this being more common in the elderly.

It is usually spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated with infected feces. Undercooked or raw Shellfish are common sources. It may also be spread through close contact with an infectious person.

The hepatitis A vaccine is effective for prevention. Some countries recommend it routinely for children and those at higher risk.

No specific treatment is available, with rest and medications for nausea or diarrhea recommended on an as-needed basis. Infections usually resolve completely and without ongoing liver disease.

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