New cases of Hepatitis A in Oakland County prompt warning

Posted at 4:37 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 17:42:02-04

Eight new cases of Hepatitis A have been reported in the last week, primarily in the Farmington Hills area, according to the Oakland County Health Division.

Health officials have not yet identified a source, but they are investigating potential common factors such as contaminated food, sick individuals, travel, and healthcare exposure, according to a press release on Wednesday.

"These new cases serve as a vital reminder of why it is critical to get vaccinated," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. "The Health Division urges all residents, food handlers, and healthcare providers to get the Hepatitis A vaccine and to wash hands thoroughly. Ill food workers and health care workers are encouraged to stay home from work, seek medical attention, and report their illness to their employer."

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus and is a vaccine-preventable disease.

Symptoms may appear from two to six weeks after exposure, with the average time being about one month. They include sudden abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, and vomiting followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes.

To reduce the risk of contracting Hepatitis A, health officials recommend the following points of emphasis:

  • Wash hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing and eating food.
  • Clean and disinfect all surface areas if someone in the household or workplace has symptoms., especially areas such as toilets. sinks, trashcans, doorknobs and faucet handles.
  • Do not prepare food if you have symptoms and refrain from food preparation for at least three days after symptoms have ended, or two weeks after onset of clinical symptoms, whichever is longer.
  • Get the Hepatitis A vaccine.