TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The number of cases of hepatitis A in Florida continues to grow, with the largest concentration of the outbreak in the Tampa Bay area, according to numbers posted on the state Department of Health website.
The outbreak of the contagious liver disease began in 2018 and has accelerated this year.
The disease can be spread through such things as food or drinks that have been contaminated with fecal matter from people with hepatitis A. If a person with the virus doesn’t wash his or her hands after going to the bathroom, feces can transfer to objects, food, drinks or drugs. When these things are shared, other people can unknowingly swallow the virus. If a person who has the virus comes in close contact with others — like during sex — the virus can also spread.
Talk to your health care provider or call your county health department about the vaccine. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom—alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill hepatitis A germs. Use soap and warm, running water and wash for at least 20 seconds.
For more information on hepatitis A, call the information line, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., toll free: 1-844-CALL-DOH (844-225-5364). Or email: HepA@flhealth.gov.