Florida’s Hepatitis A Cases Adds 58
Florida had 58 hepatitis A cases reported last week, bringing the total number of cases this year to 3,278 as of Saturday, according to the state Department of Health.
Brevard and Volusia counties had the most new cases last week, each with eight. As of Saturday, 299 cases had been reported this year in Volusia County, while 155 had been reported in Brevard County.
Twenty-one counties reported increases in cases last week, according to an ongoing News Service of Florida analysis of the data.
Pasco County, which leads the state with 412 cases this year, reported three new cases last week. Neighboring Pinellas County, which ranks second with 377 cases this year, had no new cases last week.
Pinellas has not reported any new cases in the past five weeks, according to the News Service analysis. Hepatitis A is caused by a contagious virus that infects the liver. It can be spread through human feces if, for example, people do not wash their hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom.
It also can be spread through sex and intravenous drug use. Department of Health Secretary Scott Rivkees, who doubles as the state surgeon general, told the News Service last week he’s optimistic education and vaccination efforts during the past few months are working to contain the spread of hepatitis A.
Between Dec. 8 and Saturday, Florida had 4,045 first doses of hepatitis A vaccine administered to people age 18 years and older. Forty-seven percent of those shots were administered by county health departments.