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Health concerns rising

Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Virginia Department of Health is sounding the alarm about a surge in hepatitis A cases in the state this year.

Between January 1 and April 22, 45 cases were reported, marking a 132 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018.

Other states have been dealing with hepatitis A outbreaks since 2016. Over 15,000 cases have been reported thus far. The situation in Virginia is much less extreme than in other outbreak states, but “the number of cases seen so far in 2019 is above what would be expected based on historical data,” explained Marshall Vogt, MPH, CIC, epidemiologist with VDH, division of immunization.

It’s likely that the increase in Virginia is stemming from the nationwide outbreak. “Virginia residents were possibly exposed to individuals in other outbreak states and the illness is now spreading in the state,” Vogt added.

For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 6/5/19