Health Department issues warning about ongoing Hepatitis A outbreak in Metro Detroit

Nearly 200 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in Southeast Michigan

DETROIT – The state Health Department is asking health care providers and other agencies for help stopping an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A in Southeast Michigan.

Over the past year, there have been nearly 200 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in Detroit, Macomb County, Oakland County, St. Clair County and Wayne County. It marks a tenfold increase over the same period a year ago.

The outbreak has led to 10 deaths, and 90 percent of affected people have been hospitalized.

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that infects the liver, causing a fever, nausea, appetite loss, abdominal pain and fatigue. It can progress to jaundice, which shows up as a yellowing of the white of the eyes and uncommonly dark urine.

A key message is that in the outbreak, the spread seems to be through drug use, sexual contact and close household contact with an infected person.

Anyone exposed to Hepatitis A should get vaccinated immediately to prevent infection, doctors said.

For the full message from the Health Department, watch the video posted above.

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.