The Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) is investigating a recent increase in reported Hepatitis A cases in Onondaga County. Since November, five cases have been confirmed among Onondaga County residents, a significant increase from the usual number of local cases. Dr. Indu Gupta, Commissioner of Health explained that, “Although anyone can get Hepatitis A, these recent cases are a result of intravenous and other drug use and unprotected sexual activities.”
If you or a loved one may have been exposed to someone with Hepatitis A since November 23, especially through drug use and unprotected sex, it is important that you receive vaccine as soon as possible to prevent infection. Contact your healthcare provider or call OCHD at 315-435-3215 Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30 or 315-435-3252 after hours.
The best way to prevent Hepatitis A infection is by getting vaccinated. If you or a loved one is at high risk for Hepatitis A infection, contact your healthcare provider today to get vaccinated. People who are at greater risk include those who: have sexual contact with someone who has Hepatitis A; are men who have sexual encounters with other men; use recreational drugs (injected or not); or are household members or caregivers of a person infected with Hepatitis A.
Infected individuals can spread Hepatitis A even if they don’t look or feel sick. Many children and some adults have no symptoms. If symptoms develop, they usually appear 2 to 6 weeks after exposure and can include: fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, joint pain, and yellowing of the eyes and skin. In some cases, serious consequences can result including liver failure and death.
If you have symptoms or think you may have been exposed to someone with Hepatitis A, contact your healthcare provider or call OCHD at 315-435-3215 Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30, or 315-435-3252 after hours. For more information about the Hepatitis A virus, please visit: www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/pdfs/HepAGeneralFactSheet.pdf.