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New concern after possible fifth hepatitis A death in Martin County

Posted at 6:53 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 05:29:49-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — There is renewed concern on the Treasure Coast after a possible fifth person died in Martin County due to complications from hepatitis A.

“I'm looking forward to finding some solutions so that we don't have these issues again,” said

State Rep. Toby Overdorf, who represents the state’s 83rd House district, which includes parts of Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Overdorf has been in touch with the family. He says the man contracted the virus in April, was admitted to the hospital and died earlier this month.

“A loving couple, he was basically retired in the area here and contracted the virus while he was in Martin County,” Overdorf said. “Obviously, a sad situation, however, they want to do everything and anything they can to make sure other families don't go through what they did."

The Health Department says there are now 31 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in Martin County.

Last week, the Florida Surgeon General came to Martin County for a roundtable discussion and says the state will partner with the CDC to help get hepatitis A under control.

"Our surgeon general and his involvement I think is really starting to make an impact on how we're attacking and how we're treating this virus,” Overdorf said.

The health department has yet to confirm this death is directly related to hepatitis A. Once again, health officials are stressing prevention, and say getting vaccinated is your best defense.