Hepatitis A outbreak nears 3,000 cases

Florida had 62 hepatitis A cases reported last week, bringing the total number of cases this year to 2,970, as of Saturday.

Citrus County had 11 newly reported cases last week, and the county has had 95 cases this year. Volusia County had the second-highest number of newly reported cases last week with seven. It has had 269 cases this year. Pasco and Pinellas counties continue to lead the state in cases, with 402 and 375, respectively.

Hepatitis A, which can cause liver damage, can be spread through sexual contact and through fecal matter. That can include transmission by people not properly washing their hands after going to the bathroom and contaminating food or drinks. Health officials have urged people to get vaccinated against the disease, and Department of Health Secretary Scott Rivkees has directed $3 million in additional funding to county health departments to help with the state’s vaccine efforts