Health & Fit: Pennsylvania officials declare hepatitis A outbreak with reported cases in 36 counties - - PressFrom - US

Health & FitPennsylvania officials declare hepatitis A outbreak with reported cases in 36 counties

01:30  22 may  2019
01:30  22 may  2019 Source:

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Pennsylvania officials declared an outbreak of hepatitis A in the state on Monday, citing 171 cases that have been reported since January 2018 in 36 counties , including Philadelphia. The declaration makes Pennsylvania eligible for federal funds to purchase additional doses of a vaccine against the

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Pennsylvania officials declare hepatitis A outbreak with reported cases in 36 counties© Provided by Fox News Network LLC

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is declaring a hepatitis A outbreak amid reports of 171 cases within the state since January 2018.

Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s Secretary of Health, officially declared the outbreak on Monday. Neighboring states Ohio and West Virginia have both seen significantly more cases (over 2,000 each) in that same period.

“The counties hardest hit by this outbreak are Philadelphia and Allegheny, but we have seen an increase of cases throughout much of the state,” said Levine in a news release, which also noted reports of cases were coming in from 36 of the state’s 67 counties.

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Los Angeles County health officials declared a hepatitis A outbreak Tuesday, days after a public health emergency was announced in San Diego San Diego's outbreak has already spread to Santa Cruz, where 69 people have been diagnosed. Officials say homeless people in California are most at

Los Angeles County now has its own hepatitis A outbreak , with 10 cases reported in the county —two of which were "locally acquired," and cannot San Diego has been dealing with a deadly outbreak of the highly contagious virus, with officials declaring a public health emergency in the

In declaring the outbreak, Levine said the state is aiming to be “proactive in our response to treating Pennsylvanians suffering from this illness and prevent it from spreading.”

Levine admitted that she wasn’t sure of the specific cause of the hepatitis A outbreak. “We do know that the commonwealth has seen an increase of diseases like hepatitis C and HIV because of the opioid epidemic,” she said.

Levine added that vaccinations were the best preventative measure Pennsylvanians could take.

Hepatitis A is a “highly contagious” liver infection typically spread when a person eats or drinks something contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Those diagnosed with the virus may be sick for several weeks and suffer from fever, fatigue, dark urine, vomiting, joint pain and jaundice. While patients typically recover, the infection can lead to liver failure and death, typically in patients 50 or older. It can be prevented with a vaccine, with cases typically occurring more in developing countries where sanitation and hygiene are poor.

Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.

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