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An electron micrograph of the Hepatitis A virus (HAV), an RNA virus that can survive up to a month at room temperature. This virus enters an organism by ingestion of water and food contaminated by human feces, and reaches the liver through the bloodstream. HAV infection is endemic in third world countries, and is prevalent in the Far East. Credit: CDC/Betty Partin.

Nearly 3,400 hepatitis A cases reported in Florida in 2019

Florida health officials say there were nearly 3,400 hepatitis A cases in 2019.

According to statistics through Saturday, there were 3,395 cases — included 63 new cases reported the prior week.

MORE: Hepatitis A Questions and Answers for the Public

To underscore the outbreak, the Panama City News Herald reported the state totaled 1,175 reported cases of hepatitis A in the five previous years combined — with 548 of those cases in 2018, according to state Department of Health data.

Hepatitis A can cause liver damage and is spread through such things as fecal matter. That can include transmission by people not properly washing their hands after going to the bathroom and contaminating food or drinks.

Health officials urge people to get vaccinated against the disease.

As of Saturday, Pasco County had the most cases in the state in 2019, with 414.

Author: Associated Press
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