State health officials warn of hepatitis A outbreak in northeast Alabama

State health officials warn of hepatitis A outbreak in northeast Alabama

(WAFF) - State health officials are warning of a heptatitis A outbreak in Jackson and DeKalb counties.

So far there are 17 people in Jackson and DeKalb counties that have tested positive for hepatitis A, and health officials say that number could rise.

Health officials say there are nine reported cases in Jackson County and eight cases in DeKalb County.

Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver and symptoms make a person feel sick including symptoms of a loss of appetite, fever, and nausea.

State health officials say people with the greatest risk of contracting the virus include drug users as well as homeless or transient people.

Officials say it's rarely deadly but can spread easily among those who have not been vaccinated.

That, officials say, is why they're trying to reach out to warn people in affected and surrounding areas.

“We have noticed this increase. We have taken a proactive stance. The vaccination is very important for high risk persons to keep it from spreading to other people and good hand washing,” said Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

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