TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department has seen an increase in hepatitis A cases in the past three months.
The health department reported four confirmed cases of hepatitis A in the last few weeks, with seven cases confirmed since last August.
"While this increase in cases is unusual for this length of time, the overall number of hepatitis A cases for the county continues to slowly climb," said the health department.
The department says several of these cases are linked to the Michigan outbreak. Since 2016, there have been about 800 cases and 25 deaths.
Public health has been responding by increasing awareness, sharing the importance of vaccinations and providing information on how hepatitis A can be transferred.
"We want to keep it from spreading in Lucas County and Wood County and any counties in northwest Ohio. We just need to be a little more proactive," said Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski.
If you've been exposed to someone with hepatitis A, you're urged to call your doctor. Risk factors for contracting hepatitis A are having sexual contact or sharing injection or non-injection illegal drugs with someone who has the infection.
Hepatitis A can also be spread through contaminated food or water.
Individuals with hepatitis A are infectious for two weeks prior to symptom onset.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include:
- nausea and vomiting
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
- dark urine
- light-colored stools
- joint pain
The health department says symptoms can appear over a number of days and last less than two months, but some people can be sick for as long as six months. Hepatitis A can also sometimes cause liver failure and death.
Call 419-231-4216 if you have any questions or would like to receive more information about hepatitis A.