Health officials see uptick in Hepatitis A

Health officials see uptick in Hepatitis A

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting an outbreak of Hepatitis A after seeing a greater number of cases than normal.

The department reports 23 cases since April.

In Shelby County, Tennessee, more than two dozen cases have been reported since early last year.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 10 Tennesseeans have died from Hepatitis A, none of them in Shelby County.

Health officials said any unvaccinated person exposed to the illness may develop it, but certain people are more at risk.

"Folks who are homeless, people who are recreational drug users, people who identify themselves as men who have sex with men, people who are recently or currently incarcerated," Dr. Paul Byers said.

In Arkansas, there have been more than 380 cases since early last year. Most of those cases were reported in Northwest Arkansas.

Hepatitis A is spread by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated by an infected person or through close personal contact. The illness can cause severe abdominal pain, fatigue, vomiting, yellowing the skin and loss of appetite.

Hepatitis A can be prevented through vaccines and through strong hygiene habits like washing your hands.

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