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Officials Have Announced Outbreak of Hepatitis A – Homeless at Risk of Infection

State officials have announced an outbreak of Hepatitis A in people who are living without house or who use illicit drugs.

Washington State Department of Health officials mentioned Tuesday they have confirmed 13 cases of the virus with ten cases in Spokane County, one in neighboring Pend Oreille County, two in Seattle’s King County and one in Snohomish County.

Officials stated Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus. It might probably vary from mild with no signs to a severe illness lasting months that can result in liver failure and death.

Officials say the best method to prevent Hepatitis A is vaccination. Officials are working with local health officials on prevention and response efforts.

People without access to restroom facilities and handwashing stations may be particularly at risk.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, contagious disease of the liver brought on by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). It’s often transmitted person-to-person by the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is a self-restricted disease that does not result in chronic infection. Adults with Hepatitis A have symptom, including exhaustion, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that often determine inside two months of infection; most kids lower than six years of age don’t have signs or have an unrecognized an infection. Antibodies created in response to Hepatitis A infection last for life and defend against reinfection. The best way to stop hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.

Elmira Daily All Rights Reseverd. 2019.