Health Dept: Hepatitis A Cases Confirmed in Cincinnati

( Cincinnati ) - New concerns about hepatitis A in Cincinnati.

The health department says Cincinnati had no confirmed cases of hepatitis A from 2015 to 2017. In a statement released Thursday evening, the department says there are nearly a dozen possible cases.

There's now a push to get people vaccinated with five cases already confirmed and six more possible. The people most frequently affected are:

  • people experiencing homelessness
  • people who use "street drugs," whether injected or not
  • homosexual men
  • people in jail
  • people who have had contact with infected people

Hepatitis A is primarily spread when a person ingests fecal matter from contact with food, drink, or other objects contaminated by the stool of an infected person. 

“People infected with the hepatitis A virus are most infectious the first and second week prior to symptom onset and infectiousness can continue for a few weeks to months,” said Dr Sharon Hutchins, Supervising Epidemiologist of the Communicable Disease Unit. “Those infected or possibly exposed are urged to be particularly thorough in hand washing after toileting and prior to food preparation to avoid any potential further spread of disease.”

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, clay-colored stool, and jaundice. If you suspect you're infected, contact your doctor right away.

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