Hepatitis A on the Rise in Florida

Hepatitis A- a contagious viral infection of the liver, increase in Florida, how you protect yourself?

Hepatitis A on the Rise in Florida
Hepatitis A on the Rise in Florida

Hepatitis A is a contagious viral infection of the liver and this can lead to serious liver problems. That often spread by contact with people to people, who have the virus or through the using up of infected food or water, The Hepatitis A is on the rise in Florida, with more than 700 cases reported in this year 2019.

That number of case is already exceeding, within the total 549 cases reported in the Sunshine State in 2018, which saw nearly increasing of the cases reported in 2017. Because the number of reported cases between 2016 and 2017 is about 122 to 276,

Florida health officials have not determined the cause of the outbreak, which was concentrated in Central Florida, but began making their way from Martin and Palm Beach counties to Broward County last week. But the uptick in Florida reflects a national trend that the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified in 15 states in 2016, primarily among people who used drugs or were homeless.

Since then, the CDC reported, there have been more to more than 15,000 cases, 8,500 hospitalizations, and 140 deaths across the country joined to hepatitis A, which is restrainable by vaccination. In fact, since the hepatitis A vaccine was introduced in 1996, the number of new cases has dropped dramatically—by 95 percent.

How is hepatitis A spread and what are the symptoms?

Hepatitis A symptoms and transmission
Hepatitis A symptoms and transmission

The virus spreads through the feces (poop) of people who have the virus. If a person with the virus doesn’t wash his or her hands after going to the bathroom, feces can transfer to objects, food, drinks or drugs. When these things are shared, other people can unknowingly swallow the virus. If a person who has the virus comes in close contact with others—like during sex—the virus can also spread.

A person can have hepatitis A for up two weeks without feeling sick but during that time can spread the virus to others. Symptoms usually start two to six weeks after infection and last less than two months. Symptoms are like fever, Fatigue, Loss of appetite, Nausea, Vomiting, Abdominal pain, Dark urine, Diarrhea, Clay-colored bowel movements, Joint pain and Jaundice ( means-yellow skin or eyes). Children under the age of 6 usually do not have symptoms.

Florida health officials report that three people in Florida have died from hepatitis A in this year 2019. Is this common?  Are most people don’t recover from it? 

Most people do recover from hepatitis A. Those who develop complications from hepatitis A often have other health conditions.

How people can protect yourself?

The vaccine and washing hand can stop the spread of hepatitis A.
Vaccine and washing hand

The vaccine and washing hand can stop the spread of hepatitis A.

Wash your hands after you use the bathroom—alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill hepatitis A germs. Use soap and warm, running water and wash for at least 20 seconds.

Wash before your hand prepare food or work with food that isn’t already packaged.

Wash after your hand by using the bathroom; touch people or public surfaces; change a diaper; cough, sneeze or use a tissue; use tobacco; eat or drink.

Who should get the vaccine to protect yourself?

  • Those with chronic liver conditions.
  • Those whose immune systems are compromised or are traveling to developing countries.
  • Men who have to do sex.
  • Those using street drugs should get the hepatitis A vaccine.

Vaccination for both hepatitis A and B is recommended for children.  

See the difference between hepatitis A, B, and C

Difference between hepatitis A, B and C
Difference between hepatitis A, B, and C

While Hepatitis A, B, and C are all viral infections of the liver, hepatitis A causes a serious infection that usually resolves on its own within two months. Hepatitis B and C, on the other hand, commonly result in chronic infection of the liver and increase a person’s risk of developing cancer of the liver. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are spread through blood and body fluids. There is also a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B and there is now an effective treatment for hepatitis C.

If you feel any symptoms you should talk to your health care provider or call your county health department (CHD) about the vaccine. Your CHD may have free or low-cost vaccine available.

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