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The Florida Department of Health in Martin County Urges Residents to get Vaccinated to Prevent the Spread of Hepatitis A

By Renay Rouse

June 21, 2019

The Florida Department of Health is encouraging vaccination and good hygiene to stop the spread of hepatitis A in the community.

The Health Department has confirmed 24 cases of hepatitis A in Martin County and 4 deaths associated with complications from the virus.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease primarily spread by direct or indirect person to person contact. While normally not fatal, persons with chronic disease, compromised immune systems and the elderly are more likely to experience a severe illness, leading to liver failure and possible death.

Seek Medical Treatment if Experiencing Symptoms:

Anyone experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A, including fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, diarrhea, clay colored bowl movements, joint pain and jaundice (yellow skin/eyes) should contact their healthcare provider immediately for evaluation and testing.

 Vaccinate to Prevent the Spread of Hepatitis A:

The hepatitis A vaccine is available in the community via healthcare providers and local pharmacies. The Florida Department of Health in Martin County offers free hepatitis A vaccinations for uninsured, underinsured and at-risk adults (ages 19 and older) on an appointment or walk-in basis. Appointments are available by calling: 772-221-4000 and pressing option 4 for Clinic Services/Appointments.

Since January 2018 there have been more than 2,100 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A statewide. The Florida Department of Health considers a community "high risk" when the confirmed number of cases reaches 5. Martin County reached high risk status with 5 confirmed cases as of Monday, April 1.

Hepatitis A in Florida: Statewide surveillance data for available here:

http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/vaccine-preventable-disease/hepatitis-a/surveillance-data/index.html

Additional Resources:

The Florida Department of Health has launched an information line, email box and a website to address general questions about Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A, Information Line:
1-844-CALL-DOH (1-844-225-5364) available Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Website: www.Floridahealth.gov/hepa
Email questions: HepA@flhealth.gov