PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Three new cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed in Palm Beach County, according to health officials. That raises the total number to nine cases of hepatitis A reported this year in the county.
Three deaths tied to the hepatitis A outbreak were reported in Martin County. Both Martin and Palm Beach counties have been declared as high risk zones for the virus.
According to the the Florida Department of Health, from Jan. 1, 2018 through April 27, 2019 there have been 1,503 hepatitis A cases in the state.
Health officials are stressing the importance of hand washing and the hepatitis A vaccine.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease usually spread through objects, food, or drinks that are contaminated by fecal matter from a person with hepatitis A.
To protect yourself from the disease, health officials recommend you:
- Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms
- Contact a health care provider or doctor with questions or concerns, especially if you any underlying liver conditions
- Exercise good hygiene, and wash your hands after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food
- Get the hepatitis A vaccine