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Marion County now part of state-wide Hepatitis A outbreak

By January 28, 2019News

Marion County is now part of the state-wide Hepatitis A outbreak.  Marion Public Health has investigated a total of 24 cases since January of 2018 and 14 of those cases have presented in the last 7 weeks.

People at increased risk for Hepatitis A include people who use drugs, people who are homeless and people who are incarcerated.

We are asking that any person who is at increased risk for Hepatitis A or is in close contact with someone who is at increased risk get vaccinated.

Hepatitis A symptoms typically start suddenly and include fever, headache, extreme fatigue, low appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.  Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease that is spread by close contact with a person who is sick with Hepatitis A, eating food prepared by a person with Hepatitis A, or sexual contact with a person with Hepatitis A.

Food or objects may become contaminated from the improper hand hygiene of an infected person. Infected persons may not show signs or symptoms for an average of 28-30 days.  The infected person can shed the virus in their stool for up to two weeks before they even know they are sick and continue to shed in their stool for 10 days after onset of symptoms.

Vaccination and proper hand washing with soap and water is the best prevention against Hepatitis A.  The Hepatitis A vaccine was approved in 1995 and since then most school age children have been vaccinated.

Marion Public Health Nursing staff is currently working with community partners to provide vaccinations to those at highest risk in our community. In addition to our community outreach efforts we will be offering a walk-in Hepatitis A vaccine clinic on the following Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

  • February 5th
  • February 12th
  • February 19th

Other vaccinations, including Hepatitis A are offered during our regularly scheduled vaccination clinic held every Wednesday from 12:00 noon until 5:00 pm.

To inquire more information about getting vaccinated please contact your family doctor or Marion Public Health at 740-387-6520.