Hepatitis A Outbreak Affecting Chattooga County

The Georgia Department of Public Health says that our state is experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak.  Public health officials say that 316 cases of hepatitis A have been identified across the state. In Northwest Georgia 143 cases have been confirmed, according to the Northwest Georgia Public Health District.

Twenty-four cases have been reported in Chattooga County.

Recently there have been reports from the Chattanooga area and the Fort Payne, Alabama area about cases of hepatitis A being spread by food service workers.  Health officials say that the disease is a highly contagious liver infection is spread like many viruses. It’s ingested from objects, food or drinks that are contaminated by small, undetected amounts of feces from an infected person.  Also, hepatitis A is also spread by sexual contact or even close personal contact.

High-risk groups such as drug users, men who have sex with men and the homeless are especially susceptible to the disease.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says that vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A and that frequent hand washing – especially for those working around food – is a way to prevent the spread of the disease.

You can find out more from the Georgia Department of Public Health