Hepatitis A confirmed in Skagit County
See the Washington State Hepatitis A webpage for statewide numbers.
- On December 12, Skagit County Public Health (SCPH) identified the first case of hepatitis A in a Skagit resident. On December 16, a second case was identified. The original source of the infection is still unknown, which indicates that there may be other unrecognized cases of hepatitis A in the community.
- Hepatitis A is a very contagious liver infection that can be transmitted from person-to-person, or through contaminated food, water, or objects. No food or water sources have been implicated in these cases.
- Snohomish County has also recently identified cases of hepatitis A.
- Washington state is experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak in multiple counties in people who are living homeless or who use drugs. Lack of access to necessary sanitization resources, including restroom facilities and handwashing stations, is contributing to the spread of hepatitis A in this outbreak.
- Washington is one of many states experiencing hepatitis A outbreaks.
|WHAT IS HEPATITIS A?|
Hepatitis A is a very contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can be a mild or severe illness lasting from a few weeks to several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread person-to-person when someone unknowingly consumes stool (poop) of someone with hepatitis A. This can be from touching objects or consuming food or water contaminated with the virus. It can also be spread from close, personal contact with an infected person; this includes caring for an infected person or using drugs with others.
Adults are more likely to have symptoms than children. If symptoms develop, they usually appear two to seven weeks after infection and can include yellow skin or eyes (jaundice), dark urine and/or pale stools, loss of appetite, fever, diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting, joint pain, and abdominal pain. Anyone with symptoms consistent with hepatitis A should seek medical attention promptly.
|HOW TO PREVENT HEPATITIS A|
People who are at highest risk for getting hepatitis A are:
Hand Washing and Good Hygiene
|WHAT IS PUBLIC HEALTH DOING?|
Since summer 2019, Skagit County Public Health (SCPH) has been working to spread the word about steps to prevent hepatitis A, including the need to vaccinate people at risk. Since August, SCPH has been conducting mobile immunization clinics, providing vaccines to adults with limited healthcare access that prevent hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and flu. Educational materials have been distributed to service providers to raise awareness among high-risk populations. Public Health has also sent notifications to healthcare providers containing information about the disease and what to look for in their patients.
With all confirmed cases of hepatitis A, SCPH will continue to work closely with healthcare and service providers to promptly identify any possible additional cases. Public Health is also continuing immunization efforts among high-risk individuals, including close contacts of confirmed cases.
|FOR QUESTIONS CALL
Skagit County Public Health
FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS
Hepatitis A Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Guidelines
Hepatitis A FAQ (CDC)
Second case of Hepatitis A identified.
First case of Hepatitis A identified.