TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NSF) - Florida has had a reported 1,037 cases of the liver disease hepatitis A this year, nearly double the amount reported for all of 2018, according to numbers posted on the state Department of Health website.
The numbers, as of Saturday, show a continued escalation of the contagious disease. Health officials say the outbreak started last year, when the state had 548 cases. That was more than double the 276 cases in 2017 and far more than the 122 cases in 2016.
The new Department of Health numbers show 85 cases reported in the week from April 28 to Saturday. Hepatitis A can be spread through such things as food or drinks that have been contaminated with fecal matter from people with the disease.
Health officials have urged people to get vaccinated against the disease. The Tampa Bay area has been hardest hit since the beginning of 2018. Pinellas County led the state with 332 cases, followed by Pasco County with 277 cases. Orange County was next at 185 cases, with Hillsborough County at 169 cases.