Public health emergency declared over Hepatitis A outbreak
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Officials in Philadelphia have declared a public health emergency due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A.
Health care providers have been directed to help vaccinate those most at risk for infection to stop the outbreak.
The health department says the city usually sees between two to six cases of Hepatitis A per year. Since January, the department has been notified of 154 cases.
Hepatitis Type A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus that is spread by the fecal-oral route, either through personal contact or consumption of contaminated food or water.
It’s particularly dangerous for older people and those with underlying liver disease.
WHYY reports that public bathrooms and hand-washing stations will be deployed in the Kensington neighborhood to combat the outbreak. The spread has been traced in part to human feces on the streets and parks in the area.