Arizona among several states experiencing Hepatitis A outbreak
Jun 8, 2019, 3:16 PM
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
PHOENIX — Arizona is among several states that are in the midst of a Hepatitis A outbreak.
More than 350 cases have been reported across eight counties since last November, and about half of the cases have been reported in the last two months, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Two people in Arizona have died since November and 80% have been hospitalized from Hepatitis A, according to AZDHS.
Primarily, the cases have involved at-risk individuals like illicit drug users, people experiencing homelessness or unstable housing and those who have been recently incarcerated, AZDHS said.
Hepatitis A is highly contagious. The best way to prevent an infection is to get vaccinated.
The infection spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by microscopic amounts of stool from an infected person.
Hepatitis A can also spread from close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill.
People who are infected can spread the virus for about three weeks before and after symptoms appear.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A include fever, nausea, abdominal pain and jaundice.
Florida, Ohio and Kentucky are among the other states with a Hepatitis A outbreak.