Presently, 7 Arizona counties are experiencing a Hepatitis A outbreak, with two inmates already being diagnosed with the disease previously this year.
There were around 19,000 cases of Hepatitis A reported in the US; however, states like Utah and California have completely eliminated the disease while it’s only increasing across Arizona.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) notes that 339 cases have till now been reported in Arizona since last November, with majority of the cases leading to the patient’s hospitalization.
Notably, Hepatitis A is a communicable liver disease which is preventable by vaccine. The disease, which spreads via fecal-oral route and causes mild to severe illness, has been the cause of 2 deaths in Arizona in the current year, said the CDC.
Most people affected with Hepatitis A are homeless, who are unable to have access to sanitary water or are drug users.
The WHO states that any person is prone to a risk of Hepatitis A who has lack of clean water, poor sanitation, living in household with infected person, uses recreational drugs among other conditions.
The common symptoms of the disease are yellowing of the skin, fatigue, jaundice, nausea and stomach pain. Administering just a single dose of Hepatitis A vaccine can help control outbreaks as well as protect the healthy individuals, generally up to eleven years, as per the CDC.