Yesterday, July 28, 2019, was recognized as World Hepatitis Day, by the World Health Organization. It was an annual health awareness campaign to encourage the public to know, prevent, test, treat, and eliminate hepatitis. However, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) is reporting that there is already an outbreak of hepatitis-A right here in the State of Florida, with 1,978 reported cases so far as of July 20.
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).” The Sun Sentinel reports that more than 6,900 free vaccines have already been administered, but the outbreak is still not under control. This outbreak began in 2018 and 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.