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Marion County seeing 'outbreak' of hepatitis A cases

Posted at 11:12 AM, Dec 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-20 13:17:58-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County usually sees between 2-4 cases of hepatitis A each year. In 2018, there have been 57 confirmed cases in Marion County.

Hepatitis A is usually transmitted by somebody eating food or drinking water that has been exposed to someone with the virus. It can also get transmitted through contact with an infected person, including sexual contact.

The Indiana State Department of Health declared hepatitis A a statewide outbreak in November 2017.

Since that time, there have been more than 770 cases and two deaths in Indiana.

Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan have experienced similar hepatitis A outbreaks in the last 12 months.

Symptoms for hepatitis A include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice. Most people who get the virus recover quickly and do not have lasting liver damage, according to the Marion County Health Department.

“Thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food helps reduce possible exposure to viruses such as Hepatitis A and flu,” said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director of the Marion County Public Health Department. “This is an easy way to protect your health and prevent spreading germs to others.”

The hepatitis A vaccine is available through health care providers, pharmacies and the Marion County Public Health Department.

For more information about hepatitis A, click here.

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