State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

Cases of contagious Hepatitis A rise in PA, neighboring states

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Nov 19, 2018 8:17 PM
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There is a Hepatitis A vaccine, and the state DOH recommends anyone who believes they might be at risk of infection contact a physician. (Photo by AP)

 

(Harrisburg) - Cases of Hepatitis A are in the rise in Pennsylvania.

The commonwealth's Department of Health said Monday that over the last several years, there have been between 40 and 60 Hepatitis A cases annually.

This year, 81 have been reported.

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is heightened risk for people who are homeless, men who have sex with other men, people who use drugs, or recently-incarcerated people.

Other states are experiencing outbreaks too--including neighboring Ohio and West Virginia.

Hepatitis A is essentially liver inflammation. It's contagious, and most commonly transmitted when a person ingests something contaminated by infected feces--often, an undetectable amount.

Close contact can also spread it.

Its onset can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, fatigue, vomiting, loss of appetite, joint pain, and jaundice--and it can vary widely in severity.

There is a vaccine for Hepatitis A, and Health Secretary Rachel Levine recommended anyone concerned should check with a doctor.

Unlike Hepatitis B and C, it's not a chronic disease.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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