Ohio Department of Health declares statewide community outbreak of hepatitis A

(Photo: MGN Online)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The Ohio Department of Health has declared a statewide community outbreak of hepatitis A.

As of this Wednesday, 17 cases have been reported in Montgomery County, and 79 across the state. The virus usually spreads when a person ingests fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the stool of an infected person.

People at increased risk include people with direct content with individuals infected with the virus, men who have sex with men, people who use street drugs whether or not they're inject, people who are incarcerated or people who are experiencing homelessness.

Symptoms include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, clay-colored stools and jaundice. If you believe you're at high risk, the Department of Health said should contact your healthcare provider or local health department for information about the vaccination.

The outbreak was declared after there was an increase in of cases in several states, including Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia.

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