The Indiana State Department of Health is urging Hoosiers to get vaccinated and take other steps to protect themselves from hepatitis A, a highly contagious viral infection of the liver. Kentucky has more than 300 cases, the majority of which have occurred in the Louisville area. Indiana, which typically sees fewer than 20 cases of hepatitis cases statewide per year, has confirmed 77 cases since January, many of which are related to an outbreak in southern Indiana. Symptoms of hepatitis A vary and may include loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, fever, stomachache, dark urine and light colored stools. Jaundice may appear a few days after the onset of these symptoms. Individuals can become ill 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus. Most people who get hepatitis A feel sick for several weeks, but they usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. However, hospitalization and, in rare cases death can occur. Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A should contact a healthcare provider immediately and refrain from preparing food for others. Hepatitis A virus is usually spread through feces (stool) of infected people but may also be spread through injection drug use.
For more information on Hepatitis A visit the ISDH website at https://.in.gov/isdh/27791.htm