Welcome to Skagit County
December 16, 2019
One case of hepatitis A confirmed in Skagit County
SKAGIT COUNTY, WA – On Thursday, December 12, Skagit County Public Health confirmed one case of hepatitis A in a Skagit County resident. It is unknown whether this case is related to the statewide hepatitis A outbreak declared in July 2019. Because the patient has not travelled outside Skagit County during the period in which they were exposed to the virus, this infection was likely acquired locally. The exact source of the infection is still unknown, which indicates that there may be other unrecognized cases of hepatitis A in the community.
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 this new case 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. (See list below for what is considered high-risk.)
WHAT IS HEPATITIS A?
HOW TO PREVENT HEPATITIS A
People who are at highest risk for getting hepatitis A are:
Other ways to prevent hepatitis A is to practice good hand hygiene – including thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food. People in high-risk groups should also avoid sharing food, drinks, drug paraphernalia, and other personal items.
For additional information about hepatitis A, please contact Skagit County Public Health Communicable Disease at 360-416-1500.