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Ohio Department of Health Reports a Statewide Hepatitis A Outbreak and Needs Help


OHIO – The Ohio Department of health says since January 5, 2018 to present there have been 1,931 cases identified in Ohio of Hepatitis A.  Historically Ohio has seen 40 cases a year, and ODH wants the people to know of this outbreak. Currently Pickaway has 57 case, Ross has 68, and Franklin county has 309.

photo from Ohio Department of Health

Providers of medical services are one of the categories that are at the highest risk.  Other that are high in risk are:

  • People who use street drugs, whether they are injected or not;
  • People who are or were recently incarcerated;
  • People experiencing homelessness or in transient living;
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM);
  • People with underlying liver disease (including cirrhosis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C).

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease that usually spreads when a person ingests fecal matter – even in microscopic amounts – from contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the stool of an infected person.  Hepatitis A can also be spread from close personal contact with an infected person, such as through sex.

Photo from Ohio Department of Health

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, clay-colored stools and jaundice.  People with hepatitis A can experience mild illness lasting a few weeks to severe illness lasting several months.

More information on the outbreak can be found here: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/outbreak-response-bioterrorism-investigation-team/news/newsevent1