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Recent Hepatitis A Outbreak

Vaccines WorkRecently there have been outbreaks of Hepatitis A, including one in Southeast Missouri.

 Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus.  The virus causes inflammation of the liver and affects your liver’s ability to function.

You’re most likely to get Hepatitis A from contaminated food or water or close contact with a person or object that’s infected with the virus. 

In Southeast Missouri, the cases have all been related to drug usage, which is a prominent risk factor.

Symptoms typically don’t appear until you’ve had the virus for a few weeks.  They can include flu-like symptoms, and occasionally jaundice (yellowish coloring of skin, and whites of eyes).

The good news is that you can be protected from this virus by receiving Hepatitis A vaccinations.   The vaccine is typically given in a sequence of two or three injections.  It is available for all individuals age 1 or older, including all adults.

At this time there is a shortage of vaccine, but this should resolve in the next few months. Check with your primary care provider or the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department about vaccinations.