Health officials: Get hepatitis A vaccine, practice good hygiene

Several counties in Florida are experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak.

According to the Orange County Health Department, since 2018, there have been 206 Hepatitis A cases in the county, the most of any county in Central Florida --  85 percent of those people had to be hospitalized.

Health officials say two people have died from the virus since 2018. ‪

“Hepatitis A is a serious liver infection that is transferred from an individual who has the virus via fecal matter, and some how it’s consumed,” said Kent Donahue with the Department of Health.

Recently, Brevard County has also seen a spike in cases from three in 2018, to 44 in 2019. The Brevard Health Department is giving vaccinations every day of the week at their Melbourne, Viera, and Titusville locations.

‬Likewise, Orange County is setting up locations every week for people to be vaccinated.

“Our‪ epidemiology program has been going out weekly since summer 2018 and gone several times a week to events, whether a festival or partner event to provide hepatitis a vaccinations,” said Donahue.

‬‪Officials cannot pinpoint why there has been an outbreak. Aside from getting vaccinated, it is imperative that people wash their hands after using the restroom and before eating to prevent infection. ‬