Officials: 2 Clark County deaths related to hepatitis A

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The Clark County Combined Health District has confirmed two deaths in the county are related to hepatitis A.

“The heartbreaking loss of these lives illustrates the seriousness of this outbreak, and we urge Clark County residents to practice good handwashing and to get vaccinated, especially if they fall into a high-risk population,” said Charles Patterson, Clark County Health Commissioner. “We are working with our local and state partners to slow the spread of hepatitis A, but this disease is highly contagious and can spread rapidly, so prevention is critical.”

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that is spread when hands, food or objects contaminated with stool are put in the mouth.

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It can also be spread by close contact with a person who is sick with hepatitis A, eating food prepared by a person with the disease or through sex.

Vaccination and practicing proper handwashing are the best ways to prevent hepatitis A.

A statewide outbreak was declared for Ohio in 2018.

Vaccines for hepatitis A are available from healthcare providers, retail pharmacies and local health departments. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans.

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