Calvert County Health Department

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Hepatitis A

 

Since 2016, multiple states across the country have reported outbreaks of Hepatitis A, primarily affecting people who use drugs or are experiencing homelessness. More than 17,000 cases and 170 deaths have been reported as a result of infection with Hepatitis A.

Calvert County Health Department, in conjunction with community partners, is working to increase hepatitis A vaccination rates. The efforts specifically focus on individuals who are members of high risk groups such as persons experiencing homelessness, injection and non-injection drug users, those who are/have recently been incarcerated, and men who have sex with men. Although the focus is on those at higher risk for infection, anyone who desires hepatitis A vaccine should receive it.

The virus is spread through contaminated food and dirty needles used for injecting drugs. The classic symptom of hepatitis A virus is jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or eyes. Other symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, joint pain, dark urine and clay-colored stools. Symptoms develop within two weeks to two months after exposure to the virus. It is very important for people who have symptoms to stay home from work, especially if they work in food service, health care or child care. For more information, please contact Calvert County Health Department at 410-535-5400, x424.

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