There are concerns about what's causing a Hepatitis A outbreak across the state. There have been more than 1,800 cases in 2019 in Florida.
While about a third of all the cases have been in Pasco and Pinellas counties, another Florida county is putting a detective on the case. Martin County, near Palm Beach, has had 30 cases this year.
While the virus isn't quite spreading there at the same rate, state lawmakers are stepping in. They've announced the sheriff's office is going to help county health officials investigate a possible source. The state surgeon general is also calling in the CDC to help Martin County with diagnosing, preventing and treating Hep A.
Cindy Collins' husband is one of the 28 people that have died over the last year and a half from this liver infection. She feels the virus and its dangers are finally getting the attention they deserve.
“There is no need for anybody else to pass away from this,” Collins said. She has hope this added attention will help get answers and stop the spread of the virus.
While there are still many questions about the outbreak, here are a few things we do know about the Hepatitis A outbreak. According to the Florida Department of Health, those who are in their 30s are the ones getting it the most in Florida, followed by those in their 40s. In more than 60 percent of those cases, the person had at least one of the risk factors. The most dominant was drug use.
According to the Department of Health, 140,000 people have received the Hepatitis A vaccine, statewide, which is your best protection against the infection.
Click here to see how much vaccines cost in your area and to find places to get vaccinated.
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