The Florida Department of Health issued a public health advisory on Wednesday to warn Floridians about hepatitis A, which is on the rise in the Orlando and Tampa Bay metro areas.
According to the advisory,
since January 2018, there have been 385 cases of the hepatitis A virus in Florida, a dramatic increase from the previous five-year average of 126 cases.
Hepatitis A is a liver infection that can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and joint pain.
Though in most cases it passes and is not deadly, it is best prevented with the vaccine.
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices listed these groups as the most at-risk for infection and recommended for vaccination:
- All children at age 1 year
- Persons who are at increased risk for infection
- Persons who are at increased risk for complications from HAV
- Users of injection and non-injection drugs
- Persons who are homeless
- Men who have sex with men
- Persons who have chronic liver disease
- Persons traveling to or working in countries that have high or intermediate endemicity of HAV
- Persons who have clotting-factor disorders
- Household members and other close personal contacts of adopted children newly arriving from countries with high or intermediate HAV endemicity
- Persons having direct contact with persons who have HAV.
For more information on the hepatitis A vaccine, click here.
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