MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The number of of Hepatitis A cases in Florida continues to increase. According to a report from the Florida Department of Health, the state has had 2,266 cases reported so far this year.
The virus can cause significant liver damage. The outbreak in Florida began in 2018 and it has gradually exploded this year in parts of the state, especially in the Tampa Bay region and areas of Central Florida. Very few cases have been reported in the Northern Florida area.
State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees declared a public emergency on August 1st, as a proactive step to properly inform the public about this serious illness and to prevent a further spread of Hepatitis A in the state.
The Florida Department of Health has posted data over the last four weeks that show the six counties that have the highest number of reported Hepatitis A cases between July 23 and August 17.
Manatee County is tied for third on that list with Pinellas County with 21 cases. Volusia County leads with 34 and Brevard County came in second with 23. The list finishes out with Pasco County having 19 and Lee County with 16.