SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) confirms five recent diagnoses of Hepatitis A in November 2018.
The cases were diagnosed in east-central Illinois bringing the yearly total to 69 cases statewide. There are an average of 70 cases diagnosed in the state each year, according to IDPH.
The infection can damage the liver, and is passed easily from one person to another through food, water, drug use, and sex.
“These recent cases are a reminder that states across the country, including states bordering Illinois, have been seeing hepatitis A outbreaks,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “We encourage those at highest risk for infection, including men-who-have-sex with men, homeless individuals, and those who use drugs, to get vaccinated against hepatitis A.”
IDPH is working with 37 health departments statewide covering 40 counties to make hepatitis A vaccine more readily available.