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Back in June, the Ohio Department of Health announced that new cases of hepatitis A were on track to quadruple statewide over the past year
. While most of the infections occurred in the southern and northwest regions of Ohio, a new set of data finds that Cleveland was not immune to the outbreak.
The city of Cleveland announced today that, according to the Cleveland Department of Public Health, 13 people have contracted hepatitis A over the past 11 months. Compared to 2017, that number of local infections is a soaring 117 percent increase.
In a press release today, the city explains that the infectious liver disease can be spread "by the ingestion of food or water contaminated by feces (poop) or by oral contact with contaminated objects. Most infections result from contact with an infected household member or a sexual partner." (Yes, the city decided to define the word "feces" for us.)
Hepatitis A is no joke though, with symptoms including severe stomach pain, vomiting, off-colored bowel movements and urine, fever, itchy skin, painful joints and even jaundice. People experiencing these symptoms should seek treatment immediately.
To combat the spread of the disease, CDPH is offering free vaccinations for residents at its McCafferty Health Center and J Glen Smith Health Center during select days and hours. Call 216-664-4120 for more information.
Find out more about hepatitis risk factors right here.