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Allen County Hep A Numbers Down Overall From 2018

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Rebecca Green
/
WBOI

Indiana is one of a number of states in the midst of a hepatitis A outbreak. However, Allen County is seeing lower numbers overall, compared to last year.

 

Hep A cases jumped significantly in 2018, with 52 cases reported to the Indiana Department of Health. Typically, the county sees less than five cases a year, according to Erika Pitcher, Allen County Health Department’s director of community health and case management.

 

There are a total of nine new Hep A cases reported in 2019, with eight of those cases reported within about a seven-week span between the last week of March and early May, officials said.

 

According to state data released on May 24, there are more than 1,400 cases linked to the outbreak around Indiana. The risk for contracting the illness is the highest among drug users, and then among those who have had Hepatitis C. Other risk factors include homelessness, men having sex with other men, having close contact with individuals who have the illness, and being incarcerated.

 

Vaccination and good handwashing practices remain the best way to prevent the illness, which can linger up to several months.

 

Other northern Indiana counties with significant Hep A cases include Grant with 75, Kosciusko with 31, and Huntington with 30, according to the Indiana Department of Health.