Preventing Hepatitis A

By Teresa L. Frankovich, medical director, Marquette County Health Department

Right now is a good time to talk about hepatitis A.  There is currently a large outbreak of this illness in southeastern Michigan and we all know that lots of things cross the bridge and eventually affect us here in the U.P.

The downstate outbreak began in August of 2016, and since that time there have been over 500 cases diagnosed, with more than 80 percent of these individuals being hospitalized.  Unfortunately, there have been at least 20 deaths. The high hospitalization and death rate in this outbreak is unusual.

Hepatitis A is a very contagious liver infection caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV).  Unlike hepatitis B and C, which are typically spread through blood exposure, hepatitis A is found in the stool of people with the infection.  As noted by the Centers for Disease Control, “Hepatitis A is then spread when people encounter the virus through contaminated food and water or by living with or having sex with an infected person.”…

To read the full story, please pick up a copy of this months Marquette Monthly at one of our distribution outlets.

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