2 reports of Hep. A in southern Illinois

2 reports of Hep. A in southern Illinois
(Source: Gray Media)

UNION COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - Southern Seven Health Department has reported two cases of Hepatitis A (HAV) in Union County, Illinois.

Illinois Department of Public Health officials identified 177 person-to-person outbreak related cases, with one death, of Hepatitis A (HAV) in the state since September 2018.

Across the nation, there have been more than 29,000 cases. These have resulted in more than 300 deaths across 30 states.

HAV is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable liver infection that spreads from person-to-person or through ingestion of food, water, or oral contact with objects.

Department officials said the statewide community outbreak is not associated with international travel or foodborne related.

Symptoms of HAV include jaundice, diarrhea, pale-colored stools, stomach pain, dark urine, nausea, feeling tired, loss of appetite and fever.

They also said in severer cases, some individuals, especially if co-infected with hepatitis B or C, may develop liver failure, resulting in death.

Department officials said to get two vaccinations for people 1-year and older to prevent hepatitis A.

No treatment exists for HAV.

Washing your hands after using the bathroom and avoiding high risk behaviors also play an important role in preventing the spread of hepatitis A.

For more information, call Southern Seven Health Department at 618-634-2297 or visit dph.illinois.gov

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