NewsTreasure CoastMartin County


Ramping up new public information campaigns for hepatitis A

Posted at 5:44 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 18:49:15-04

STUART, Fla. — Tasked with overseeing the Department of Health, Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez was in St. Lucie County Wednesday for a tour of the facility.

"I understand that Floridians desperately want to make sure they have the best quality county health department," said Nunez.

Nunez, who was part of a big gathering in Stuart last month after there were three fatalities from Hepatitis A in Martin County, says the biggest focus is prevention.

“That vaccination is a critical part. That education and outreach is something that each county is taking seriously," said Nunez.

Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties are all considered high risk for hepatitis A, a highly contagious liver disease often spread through contaminated food.

“We are currently at nine cases and our cases are following along the same high risk lifestyles that several other counties in the state are witnessing," said Clint Sperber, head of the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County.

In Martin County, public service announcements are now on the radio, and a new public information campaign has ramped up.

More than 50 gas stations and convenience stores have posters up in English and Spanish.

Later this month, electronic billboards will highlight the simple message of prevention along Kanner Highway and US 1.

Right now, 25 of Florida's 67 counties are considered high-risk for hepatitis A because they have at least five active cases.