CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Board of Health says the amount of confirmed Hepatitis A cases in the county is on the rise.
As of Nov. 8, there have been a total of 13 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A among Cuyahoga County residents. On average, there are typically four confirmed cases per year in the county.
In September alone, there were four diagnosed cases in Cuyahoga County, according to health officials. All four cases are believed to be linked to a multi-state outbreak affecting several states, including Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia.
Three additional cases confirmed in October are also likely linked to the outbreak.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease that usually spreads when a person ingests fecal matter, whether it is through contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the stool of an infected person. The vaccine-preventable disease can also be spread through sexual contact.
According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, at-risk individuals include:
- People who have direct contact with individuals infected with the virus
- Men who have sex with men
- Users of street drugs, whether they are injected or not
- Those who are incarcerated
- People experiencing homelessness
- Those traveling to other areas of the U.S. currently experiencing outbreaks
- Those traveling to or working in countries that have high or intermediate endemicity of hepatitis
- Those with an occupational risk for infection
- Household members and other close personal contacts or adopted children newly arriving from countries with high or intermediate Hepatitis A endemicity
- Persons who have chronic liver disease
- Persons who are at increased risk for complications from Hepatitis A, including people with chronic liver diseases, such as Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C
- Persons who have clotting-factor disorders
Children over 1-year-old, homeless individuals, and drug users are urged to be vaccinated for the Hepatitis A.