Health officials looking for ways to combat the rise of Hepatitis A cases in the Suncoast

Hepatitis A cases on the rise

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hepatitis A cases continue to rise not only in Florida but in the Suncoast.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the dates between June 16th and June 22nd, 25 counties in the state reported new cases of Hepatitis A. That includes two new cases in Sarasota County and five new cases in Manatee County.

They say these numbers are driven by people experiencing homelessness and people abusing drugs. Some of the symptoms include feeling tired, skin turning yellow, and dark urine.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. People infected with Hepatitis A are most contagious from two weeks before onset of symptoms to one week afterwards.

Not everyone who is infected will have all the symptoms. Symptoms usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus with a range of 15-50 days.

In order to reduce this, the health department is working with their community partners, and reaching out to those who are at risk. They’re also working with the local jail.

“We’re also providing a lot of education, not only with our community partners but with people that are at risk and if anybody has any questions whether they fall in these risk groups or they have general concerns, please reach out and call the health department,” said Michael Drennon, Disease Intervention Services Program Manager for the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota.

Health officials say if you feel any of these symptoms, to seek medical care. They also advise everyone to get vaccinated against the virus.

Copyright 2019 WWSB. All rights reserved.