While the COVID-19 pandemic remains the focus of media, politicians and the public, the hepatitis A outbreak in Florida never really went away.
The Florida Department of Health has reported an additional 990 hepatitis A outbreak cases through December 19. While high, much less than 3405 cases seen in 2019.
Since the start of the outbreak in early 2018, the Sunshine state has seen 4,943 hepatitis A cases, only Kentucky has reported more.
76 deaths have been attributed to the outbreak.
In 2020, Duval County saw the most cases with 208, followed by Escambia County with 119.
Nationally, since the outbreaks were first identified in 2016, 35 states have publicly reported the following as of December 18, 2020
- Cases: 37,121
- Hospitalizations: 22,721 (61%)
- Deaths: 348
Hepatitis A vaccination is your best protection against the virus. Most vaccinations come in two doses given six months apart.
FDOH recommends vaccination if you:
• Are homeless or your housing is unstable.
• Use illicit recreational drugs—injected or not.
• Want protection (immunity) from the virus.
• Have adopted or care for a child who comes from a country where hepatitis A is common.
• Are 60 or older and have a serious underlying medical condition.
• Have chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or C.
• Have a clotting-factor disorder.
• Have come into direct contact with others who have the virus.
• Are a man who has sex with other men.
• Have traveled to or will travel to countries where the virus is common