CLEVELAND- Like our neighbors, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, Ohio is now dealing with a hepatitis A outbreak.
Ohio’s newest Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton says, “It’s an epidemic. We are taking immediate action, and urging you to get a vaccine if you believe you have it.”
Ohio has received more hepatitis-A vaccinations from the CDC recently. Just this week, Dr. Acton has allocated $650,000 to local health departments to help people get the help they need.
“It’s a dangerous disease (hepatitis A),” said Dr. Acton. “It causes inflammation of the liver and looks a lot like the flu. You might even feel flu-like symptoms, but also jaundice, which is the yellowing of the eyes or skin. It can be fatal. We have had seven deaths in Ohio and more than 2,200 cases in the past year and a half.” Generally, Ohio sees about 30 cases over that amount of time.
It is passed person to person, orally, through fecal matter or through sex. Dr. Acton said the greatest areas of concentration right now are with the homeless, drug users and prisoners.
Vaccinations are free at your local health department. Health insurance is not needed.