The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) reports that “Since 2018, there have been more than 22,000 cases of hepatitis A in the U.S.” The FDOH explains that since then, 3,956 of those cases have been reported in Florida.
This occurrence has prompted a public health emergency and the issuance of a statewide initiative to combat the virus called VEST. According to the FDOH, the acronym encourages everyone to, “Vaccinate, Educate yourself, practice basic Sanitation by washing your hands, and know that FDOH and your health partners are Tracking the virus with the goal of bringing this outbreak to an end.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Hepatitis-A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV).” This virus is spread primarily through human feces when people do not wash their hands and the feces is transferred to food and beverages. People in the food service industry and people who abuse drugs have been identified as high-risk factors.
The symptoms of Hepatitis A are sudden nausea, vomiting, fatigue, appetite loss, low grade fever, dark urine, and joint pain. Thorough hand washing is the key to preventing Hepatitis A. However, the best protection is a vaccination. You may walk-in to any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, or you may schedule an appointment by visiting our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.