Summit County reports ‘alarming increase’ in hepatitis A cases

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio – Summit County Public Health is reminding people to get their hepatitis A vaccinations.

Summit County has experienced ‘an alarming increase’ in the number of cases in 2019, according to the health department.

There have been 32 additional cases. More than half of those are linked to a national outbreak.

There have been 15,000 cases reported nationwide.

8,400 people have been hospitalized and 140 people have died.

According to a press release, drug misuse, especially drugs that are injected, have been reported at higher rates in 2019 hepatitis A cases, suggesting that hepatitis A is circulating among this population in Summit County.

Statewide, hepatitis A has been transmitted via contact with objects, food or drink contaminated with fecal matter from an infected person, or by close person to person contact.

Symptoms include:

  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine and/or gray-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
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