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MDHHS reports hepatitis A is on the rise in southeast Michigan

Mar 24, 2017

Cases of hepatitis A are increasing in Detroit, as well as Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced today that there has been a significant uptick in the number of lab-confirmed hepatitis A cases.

In a press release, the department said that 107 cases were confirmed from August 1, 2016 to March 1, 2017. That's eight times higher than the previous year.

Ages of the cases range from 22 to 86 years, with an average age of 45 years. The majority of the cases have been male. Eighty-five percent of the cases have been hospitalized with two deaths reported. Approximately one-third of the cases have a history of substance abuse, and 16 percent of all cases are co-infected with hepatitis C. No common sources of infection have been identified.

Dr. Eden Wells, the chief medical executive of MDHHS, urged those living in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties to get vaccinated.

No common sources of the disease have been identified. Common risk factors for infection include living with, having sexual contact with, or sharing injection needles with someone that has hepatitis A. Symptoms include jaundice, fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite.