34 Hepatitis A cases reported in Southwest Florida

Posted at 10:41 AM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 10:44:27-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- More than 1,200 Hepatitis A cases have been reported in Florida so far this year and 34 of those cases are in Southwest Florida.

Most of them have been reported in Lee County within the last month.

The state’s health department said the infection has impacted people ranging from 74 years old to as young as 20.

The number of Hepatitis A cases have gone up drastically over the years.

The health department said there were 106 cases in 2014. So far this year, there have been 1,220 cases across the state.

Health officials said getting a vaccine is the best way to prevent getting the highly contagious infection.

They said 97% of the people with Hepatitis A never got the vaccine.

The infection can be severe, leading to hospitalization or even death.

In Florida, 18 people have died from the infection since January 2018.

The infection affects your liver’s ability to function.

It’s highly contagious and you can get it from eating or drinking something contaminated, or by being in close contact with someone who is infected.

Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, itching, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and many more.

If you experience those symptoms, see your doctor right away.

Health officials also recommend practicing good hygiene to protect yourself from the infection.