Record number of Hepatitis A cases affecting Cuyahoga County

Record number of Hepatitis A cases affecting Cuyahoga County

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Department of Health reports that a large outbreak of Hepatitis A in four mid-western states is now showing up in Ohio too.

“In September, we had four cases alone, all of them associated with that outbreak, where traditionally we see four cases for the entire year,” said Chris Kippes from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health."

Hepatitis A is a virus that affects your liver.

Cases here locally and across Ohio have now been linked to a multi-state outbreak that includes Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia.

“The most common way that people get it is that they actually ingest or come into contact with things that have fecal matter on it,” said Kippes.

The symptoms of Hepatitis A don’t show up right away. It can take 3 to 4 weeks for these symptoms develop:

  • Fatigue
  • Sudden nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low grade fever
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movement
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

Some of the people most at risk of contracting Hepatitis A are people who have direct contact with individuals infected with the virus, men who have sex with men, people who use street drugs - not just drugs that are injected, people who are in jail, and people who are homeless.

The good news is that people usually recover from Hepatitis A and there is a vaccination available for the virus.

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