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Health News Florida

Hepatitis A Cases Continue To Mount

The Health Department in Pinellas has been giving out free vaccinations to anyone who wants one for several months.
The Health Department in Pinellas has been giving out free vaccinations to anyone who wants one for several months.

Florida reported 31 hepatitis A cases last week, bringing the total this year to 387, according to newly released data from the state Department of Health.

The largest concentration of cases has occurred in Duval County, which had 86 as of Saturday. Duval was followed by Volusia County, with 36 cases; Brevard County, with 25 cases; Clay County, with 18 cases; and Polk County, with 17 cases.

Florida has continued to grapple with hepatitis A after a major outbreak last year, when 3,395 cases were reported. By comparison, the state had 548 cases in 2018 and 276 cases in 2017.

State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, who doubles as secretary of the Department of Health, issued a public health emergency in August that warned about the spread of hepatitis A and encouraged citizens to get vaccinated and wash their hands.

Hepatitis A, which causes liver damage, is spread through such things as fecal matter, sexual contact and intravenous drug use.

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