SARASOTA (WWSB) - An outbreak of Hepatitis A is in the State of Florida with close to 1,200 statewide cases.
Early Tuesday morning, public health professionals at the Manatee County Health Department were on a conference call with other affected counties in the state. That meeting was to discuss the increase in Hepatitis A cases statewide and how to tackle the disease.
In Manatee County alone there are about 10 confirmed Hepatitis A cases, something the Health Department is keeping a close eye on. Donna Priest with Manatee County’s Florida Department of Health says the most recent case was confirmed about a week ago.
The health department is trying to contain the outbreak before any other people become infected. Priest says the health department is working to identify those at risk which are the people around 37 years old, homeless, and drug users.
Priest tells ABC 7 education is the number one tool to preventing the disease.
Tuesday morning the health department put what they call “The Health Coach” on the road to go out and test those who’s most at risk. It’s a bus used to test and administer vaccines.
Although the number of cases are relatively low compared to Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, the health department is taking precaution considering how close those counties are.
ABC 7 asked if any cases were connecting to any food establishments in the county but the health department could not confirm that information.
We also reached out to Sarasota County’s Health Department. So far there is only one confirmed case, which we’re told was travel related.