Summit County Reports A Rise In Hepatitis A Cases

Public health officials in Summit County are reporting a rise in the number of Hepatitis A cases. (Photo: Tashatuvango / Shutterstock)
Public health officials in Summit County are reporting a rise in the number of hepatitis A cases. [Tashatuvango / Shutterstock]

Public health officials in Summit County are reporting a rise in the number of hepatitis A cases. The count is up to 35 cases so far in 2019. An average year sees about seven cases, according to Summit County Public Health’s Tracy Rodriquez.

She cites drug abuse, such as the opioid epidemic, as possibly contributing to the uptick.

"This has always been transported via contaminated water and food, but now we have another avenue with the drug use," Rodriguez said. "It’s sort of bumped up the numbers a little bit."

In early 2018, the state declared an outbreak of hepatitis A, reporting 2,044 cases and seven deaths, but so far the worst of the outbreak has been felt in the southwest portion of the state.

Rodriguez urges people to get the hepatitis A vaccine to help prevent infection.

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