Broward County

Officials Urge Public to Take Precautions After Hepatitis A Outbreak in Broward County

An outbreak of Hepatitis A has spread to Broward County, with seven adult cases reported since the start of the year.

The Broward County Health Department confirmed the cases on Thursday. A community is considered to be at risk once there are five confirmed cases.

Between 2014 and 2018, a total of 70 cases of Hepatitis A were reported in Broward, officials said. Of those, 28 were associated with travel outside of Florida or the United States.

"DOH-Broward is providing outreach education and vaccination to groups at increased risk of Hepatitis A which include individuals who use injection or non-injection drugs, are homeless or in temporary housing or have been recently incarcerated," the department said in a statement. "DOH-Broward encourages individuals at risk to get vaccinated. The Hepatitis A vaccine is safe and effective."

Earlier this week, Palm Beach County health department spokesman Alex Shaw confirmed that six cases have now been confirmed there. News outlets report that 16 cases have been confirmed in neighboring Martin County this year, with three deaths attributed to the virus over the past month.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection. It spreads when someone ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by fecal matter of an infected person.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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