Concerned about Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) is transmitted person-to-person through the ingestion of fecal matter containing the virus. HAV can spread through food or water if proper hand hygiene is not used by food handlers, and close contact such as household or sexual contacts. Residents are encouraged to be aware of the associated risk factors, and the importance of hand washing and vaccination to prevent hepatitis A infection.
Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes, and typically last several weeks to several months. Time from exposure to onset of illness (incubation period) is typically 15 to 50 days. Treatment of Hepatitis A is supportive, and most people will recover without complications.
Importantly, HAV is a vaccine preventable disease and MDHHS encourages HAV vaccination of at-risk individuals, particularly in light of the recent HAV outbreak in Southeast Michigan.
Persons with a history of substance use
Persons currently homeless or in transient living
Men who have sex with men (MSM)
Persons incarcerated in correctional facilities
Persons with underlying liver disease
Persons who are in close contact with any of the above risk groups
Persons wishing to be immune to hepatitis
A Since August 1, 2016, there have been 509 confirmed cases of hepatitis A, including 20 fatalities, associated with this outbreak in the City of Detroit, Huron, Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties reported to MDHHS.
What can the public do to protect themselves and their communities?
Get vaccinated against hepatitis A
Wash hands after using the restroom and before eating or preparing meals for yourself or others
Use your own towels, toothbrushes, and eating utensils
Do not have sex with someone who has HAV infection
Do not share food, drinks, drugs, or smokes with other people
If you think you may have hepatitis A, see your medical provider
If you have hepatitis A, please cooperate with your local pu
blic health to help protect others
Pleases contact the Sanilac County Health Department for an appointment or MDHHS at 517-335-8165 with any questions during this outbreak.
Hepatitis A Information obtained from MDHHS October 2017