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Jefferson County Health Department reports Hepatitis A outbreak

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Hep A

JEFFERSON CO. (WSIL) -- The Jefferson County Health Department has received nine reports of Hepatitis A in the past three weeks.

News 3 spoke to one of the nurses from the department who says the amount of cases meets the criteria for an outbreak.

The nurse says four women and five men went to the hospital with symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.

The department is investigating how these patients contracted the infection. As of now, there aren't any connections, but health officials say some may have had a history of substance abuse.

Hepatitis A can be transmitted through person-to-person contact. Some people who are at risk are those who were recently incarcerated, men who have sex with men, and people who share food, drinks or drugs.

"It's highly recommended that you get your Hepatitis A vaccination. You can speak with your medical provider, you can call the health department, and we can direct you on how to obtain those," said Amy Dalby.

The health department will set up vaccination clinics for those who may not have access, like those in the Jefferson County jail.

They'll also have health care experts to provide resources and educate people on how to stay safe from the infection.

Dalby also says washing your hands and maintaining social distance is another way to prevent spreading the infection.

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Maya Skinner

Maya Skinner is a Multimedia Journalist at News 3 WSIL. Maya joined the team in 2019 and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Communication with a focus in Mass Media.

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