ARIZONA NEWS

State health department says Arizona is experiencing hepatitis A outbreak

May 1, 2019, 4:45 AM | Updated: 7:07 am
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)...
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services says Arizona is experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis A.

“We’ve seen over 200 cases of the disease throughout Arizona, primarily in Pima and Maricopa counties,” assistant director Jessica Rigler told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

The department began seeing cases reported in November 2018, starting in Pima County, she said. Fifty-five cases have been reported in Maricopa County since the beginning of 2019.

The majority of people infected with hepatitis A are homeless people and drug users, she said.

Rigler said vaccination and frequent hand washing can help prevent the disease, which cannot be cured. Doctors can only treat the symptoms while the disease runs its course.

“One of the important things to stopping a hepatitis A outbreak is making sure that individuals who are vulnerable receive hepatitis A vaccine,” Rigler said.

“And our local public health departments have been working hard to vaccinate individuals … to try and prevent additional cases of disease.”

She said symptoms include sudden fever, stomach pain, nausea, dark urine and yellowing eyes.

“It’s usually spread through the fecal-oral route, which means that if someone ingests hepatitis A virus from an object or food or drink that’s contaminated by undetectable amounts of stool from an infected person, they could become sick,” she said.

Rigler said no deaths have been associated with the current outbreak, but a “significant” number of people have been hospitalized.

The AZDHS recommends that people get vaccinated, especially those experiencing homelessness and children over a year old.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report. 

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Bid...
KTAR.com

President Joe Biden touring Phoenix chip plant Tuesday, touting economic agenda

President Joe Biden is coming to Phoenix on Tuesday to tour a massive chipmaking plant under construction and tout his economic agenda.
9 hours ago
(File Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

2 found shot inside vehicle parked in Buckeye neighborhood

A man and woman were taken to the hospital Monday night after they were found shot inside a vehicle in the West Valley, authorities said.
9 hours ago
Raymond Rey (Photo via Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for Phoenix man missing since end of weekend

A Silver Alert was issued early Tuesday for a missing Phoenix man who has cognitive problems, authorities said.
9 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)...
Colton Krolak

D-backs Winter Classic gives kids clothes, books ahead of holidays

The Diamondbacks on Monday gave back to hundreds of children from elementary schools in the valley as part of the 25th D-backs Winter Classic.
9 hours ago
(Pedal Haus Brewery Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Pedal Haus Brewery takes over event space operations on Roosevelt Row

Pedal Haus Brewery is expanding its scope by taking over event space operations in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row district.
9 hours ago
Taylor Swift blows a kiss during the European MTV Awards 2022 in Dusseldorf, Germany, Sunday, Nov. ...
KTAR.com

Here are the shows set for Valley’s biggest concert stages

Here are all the headline acts set to perform at the Phoenix area's large-scale concert venues in the coming months.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
State health department says Arizona is experiencing hepatitis A outbreak