SARASOTA (WWSB) - Florida health officials are closely monitoring a spike in Hepatitis-A cases right now.
Through the first four months of this year, Florida has seen nearly double the Hepatitis-A cases from all of last year. The Suncoast has not been immune to the spike with Manatee County seeing a big jump in just the last month.
As of now, Manatee County has 19 confirmed cases of the highly contagious liver disease that also can be preventable. Just last month there about 10 cases confirmed.
The Health Department of Manatee County says prevention is the most powerful tool to stop the spread of Hepatitis-A. One of the main ways they are doing so is by handing out hygiene kits across the county to the homeless, and anyone else who might need one.
They also have placed educational flyers inside the entire fleet of MCAT buses. The same flyers are also going up at several convenience stores and gas station pumps to stress the importance of vaccinations and proper hygiene.
The health department also actively working with the Manatee County School District’s food workers and the bureau of professional regulations which conducts health inspections in restaurants.
To receive one of the kits, catch the Health Department’s Health Coach, which is a bus that goes out throughout the county.
It’s also important to know that Hepatitis-A vaccines are a two step process to help people gain full immunity to the virus.