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19th death reported in hepatitis A outbreak, which shows no sign of slowing

From MDHHS brochure on preventing Hepatitis A.

More people were sickened this week, and another person died in the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in southeast Michigan.

495 cases have been reported since the outbreak began in the summer of 2016. 416 of those cases involved hospitalization. 

The numbers continue to rise despite public health efforts to vaccinate those at higher risk, and to educate people about how this virus strain is being spread -- person-to person, via lax hygiene and close contact.

Health officials say many cases have been among drug users and the homeless in particular, as well as people in jail, men who have sex with men, and people who live with someone who's been infected. 

The outbreak could be spreading statewide. Isolated cases of the outbreak strain have been reported in counties outside southeast Michigan, including one each in Clare, Isabella, Hillsdale, Calhoun and Genessee counties.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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