(Woodbury, NJ) - The Gloucester County Department of Health said today that the county is experiencing an increase Hepatitis A cases.
On average, the department sees less than ten Hepatitis A cases a year, but eight cases have been reported in just the last nine weeks.
The cases are unconnected, the department said, but residents are urged to get vaccinated against the disease. Particularly high-risk groups that include:
- People who have close, personal contact with someone who has Hepatitis A
- People who are homeless
- People who use injected or non-injected street drugs
- Men who have sex with men
There is a vaccination available for Hepatitis A. Those who are at increased risk should contact their physician's office to be vaccinated, or, for those without health insurance, contact the Gloucester County Department of Health to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine at no cost.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also spread from close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill. Person to person transmission of Hepatitis A virus between persons who report drug use and/or homelessness could result from contaminated needles and other injection equipment or from generally poor sanitary conditions.
The following are symptoms of Hepatitis A:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored stools
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- For more information:
Visit or call: Gloucester County Department of Health: www.gloucestercountynj.gov
Or call 856-218-4101.
New Jersey Department of Health: https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/hepatitisa.shtml
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/