Hepatitis A Virus - Information Release from the Highland County Health Department
The Ohio Department of Health has declared a statewide community outbreak of Hepatitis A after seeing a large increase in cases related to several risk factors. In Ohio, 79 cases of this outbreak have been reported so far in 2018, which is almost double the number of Ohio cases in all of 2017. Several neighboring states are also seeing significant increases in Hepatitis A.
Highland County has not seen any increases in Hepatitis A cases associated with this current statewide outbreak. We have seen some regional increases in Hepatitis A cases, and we are close to several other rural counties that have been impacted. The information included in this packet provides an overview of the Hepatitis A virus, its risk factors, who is at risk for significant health impact if they get sick, and how someone can protect themselves. Our hope is that providing this information now will better prepare our community in the event that we are affected by this statewide community outbreak.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, light-colored stools and jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin). People with hepatitis A can experience mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.
This disease is preventable with a vaccine. The Highland County Health Department provides Hepatitis A vaccine, as do many local pharmacies. If someone is uninsured or underinsured, the health department can offer a discounted vaccine through a state program.
With questions about this outbreak, the vaccine, or other related issues, please call the Highland County Health Department Nursing Division at (937) 393-1941.
Jared Warner, MEM, RS
Highland County Health Department