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State lawmakers address hepatitis A outbreak at Wednesday news conference in Stuart

Posted at 1:38 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 18:58:21-04

STUART, Fla. — The widespread hepatitis A outbreak in South Florida will take center stage in Stuart on Wednesday.

State Rep. Toby Overdorf, a Republican whose district includes Martin and St. Lucie Counties, is scheduled to hold a news conference at 5:30 p.m.

Rep. Overdorf and other state lawmakers will discuss their recent meeting with Florida's Surgeon General Scott Rivkees about the hepatitis A outbreak.

According to the Florida Department of Health, here are the latest number of cases in our area as of July 6:

  • Palm Beach County: 37
  • Martin County: 30
  • St. Lucie County: 23
  • Okeechobee County: 5
  • Indian River County: 3

Last month, health officials said the hepatitis A outbreak in Martin County didn't start with a single patient. Instead, there were multiple introductions of the virus into the community.

Doctors said the best way to protect yourself from getting hepatitis A is to get vaccinated and wash your hands after going to the bathroom and before handling food.

The hepatitis A vaccine is available at doctor's offices, urgent care centers, pharmacies, and county health departments.

Health officials said the incubation time for hepatitis A is 15 to 50 days. That means you would start seeing symptoms between 15 and 50 days after you were exposed to the virus.

Wednesday's news conference will take place at Rep. Overdorf's office in Stuart. He'll be joined by State Rep. MaryLynn Magar and State Sen. Gayle Harrell, who also met with Surgeon General Rivkees.

WPTV's Meghan McRoberts will be at the news conference providing updates online and on air.