Philly among hardest hit in statewide hepatitis A outbreak

The Pennsylvania Department of Health launched Monday an outbreak of hepatitis A — and Philadelphia is probably going one of many hardest-hit cases.

According to properly being officers, 171 cases have been reported in 36 Pennsylvania counties since January 2018. Pittsburgh, Ohio and West Virginia even have seen an increase in cases.

“It’s hard to know for sure why we are experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis A,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, talked about. “We do know that the commonwealth has seen an increase of diseases like hepatitis C and HIV because of the opioid epidemic.”

According to the Department of Health, the hepatitis A virus is unfold by consuming one factor meals contaminated with the feces of a person contaminated with hepatitis A. This sometimes occurs in the meals service setting when a hepatitis A-positive put together dinner wouldn’t wash their fingers appropriately.

But these most at-risk of contracting the virus embody homeless folks, males who’ve intercourse with males and individuals who inject remedy.

Symptoms of hepatitis A embody jaundice, darkish urine, light-colored stools, stomach pains and lack of urge for meals, in line with the properly being division.

This is a vaccine-preventable illness, the Department of Health reminds residents. If you are not however vaccinated, uncover a clinic near you proper right here.

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