Eaton Co. confirms case of hepatitis A

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EATON COUNTY, Mich. (WILX) - The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) has sent out a notice confirming a case of hepatitis A in an Eaton County resident.

This is the first case this year.

They are not able to confirm if this case is related to the recent outbreak in southeast Michigan but additional testing is being done to see if they are linked.

The resident infected is not considered at high risk of infecting others and is receiving treatment.

Hepatitis A is considered a vaccine-preventable, contagious liver disease spread through the ingestion of food or water that has been contaminated with infected feces or by oral contact with objects that may be contaminated as well.

BEDHD recommends that all individuals be vaccinated against the disease. The illness is known to last a few weeks or could become serious and last several months.

Symptoms begin to represent around two to six weeks after exposure to the hepatitis A virus. They include fatigue, abdominal pain, yellow skin (jaundice), dark urine, and pale stool. Some people have no symptoms.

“Outside of vaccination, handwashing is the most important step that everyone can take to protect themselves from hepatitis A,” said Dr. J. Daniel Woodall, BEDHD Medical Director. “With other contagious diseases like the flu, whooping cough, and gastrointestinal illnesses currently in our area, proper handwashing is the key, everyday action that people can take to keep healthy this holiday season.”

People who believe they have been exposed to hepatitis A or who have symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately