DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Michigan health officials say the southeast part of the state is seeing a serious outbreak of hepatitis A cases.

An analysis by the Detroit Free Press found that Michigan has led the U.S. in hepatitis cases per capita this year, with more than 500 reported cases so far.
The Detroit News reports that there have been 20 deaths linked with hepatitis A in southeast Michigan since August 2016.

In November a Detroit McDonald’s worker was diagnosed with hepatitis A forcing a health alert to the public that included vaccination recommendations for anyone who ate or drank at that McDonald’s location.

The Detroit Health Department announcing that anyone who ate or drank at that McDonald’s location from November 8 to November 22 should be vaccinated before Wednesday, December 6.

Health officials say the majority of cases involve drug users, homeless people and current or former inmates. The outbreak has particularly affected Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hepatitis A is an extremely contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can be spread during sex or by eating contaminated food or water. Symptoms can include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal, and sometimes yellow eyes or skin and dark urine. A person can get Hepatitis A when they eat, drink, or touch their mouth with food, liquid or objects (including their hands) that have come into contact with stool from an infected person. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

For more information on Hepatitis A, visit michigan.gov/hepatitis.

 

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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