CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Ohio Department of Health has declared a statewide community outbreak of hepatitis A after an increase in reported cases since the beginning of 2018.
Since January 2018 to Feb. 11, 2019, there have been at least 1,657 cases of hepatitis A reported in Ohio. Five deaths have been linked to the statewide outbreak.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is spread by ingesting food or fluids contaminated with feces.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, people at increased risk for hepatitis A during the multi-state outbreak include:
- People with direct contact with individuals infected with the virus
- Men who have sex with men
- People who use street drugs whether they are injected or not
- People who are incarcerated
- People experiencing homelessness
- People who have traveled to other areas of the United States currently experiencing outbreaks.
An infection can last for several months with symptoms including fatigue, jaundice, joint pain, abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, dark urine, and pale stool.