Hepatitis A outbreak reported in Jefferson County

Updated: Aug. 20, 2019 at 8:17 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County has reached three cases of hepatitis A.

That qualifies as an outbreak by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitus A virus. It spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small amounts of stool from an infected person.

Although three cases may not seem like a lot, JCDH wants this to be a reminder for people to get vaccinated.

“By us setting our number low, by setting it at 3, we’re able to get ahead of this by mobilizing vaccines, starting to work with our community partners, and in general, trying to get ahead of this before it becomes a much bigger problem,” said JCDH Medical Director Dr. Wesley Willeford.

132 cases have been reported in the state of Alabama since August 14.

Health officials urge you to wash your hands and get vaccinated.

Certain groups are at a higher risk, and those include persons experiencing homelessness, users of injection or non-injection drugs, men who have sex with men, or those who have been incarcerated.

For a list of symptoms and treatment/prevention, you can click here.

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