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Michigan health officials open 24/7 hepatitis A helpline to fight outbreak

First three months of 2018 have more cases reported than expected for a year

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Henry Ford Hospital have teamed up to provide a helpline to assist health care providers with questions about hepatitis A.

The helpline is staffed by infectious disease specialists and is available 24/7.

"With more than 800 cases of hepatitis A reported in Michigan during this outbreak, it is far from over," said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. "During the first three months of 2018, there have been more cases reported than we would expect to see for an entire year. Local health departments, hospitals, urgent cares and primary care clinics need access to the latest information to help them with their patients and stop the spread of this disease."

The Hepatitis A Provider Helpline is not intended for the general public. Patients are advised to consult with their physician or local health department with their questions. The helpline provides a valuable service for disease prevention and mitigating new cases for health care providers and can answer questions regarding treatment, high-risk groups, vaccination and blood testing.

"The Hepatitis A Provider Helpline is a valuable resource for health care professionals across the state," said Norman Markowitz, M.D., a Henry Ford infectious diseases physician. "Our team can provide the latest best practices for preventing and limiting the spread of hepatitis A in our communities."