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Public health officials warn of hepatitis A epidemic



Health officials have been warning of an outbreak of hepatitis A after an alarming number of cases were diagnosed in the last year. >> Download the WMUR app for FREE. Public health officials said they can usually count the number of cases of hepatitis A in a given year on two hands, but there have been more than 200 cases of preventable disease in the last 11 months. "We are experiencing a major outbreak of hepatitis A here in New Hampshire, as well as nationwide," said Beth Dali, of the state Department of Health and Human Services. "There was a (national) outbreak of over 25,000. Here in New Hampshire, we had 220 cases by November 201

8." Daly said 30 states had reported outbreaks of hepatitis A. About 44 percent of New Hampshire cases were in Hillsborough County. Government officials said the disease thrives in homeless populations, where people are often crowded together and have no access to baths, showers or clean laundry. "It's a temporary population by nature, and it's really so important that we make a concerted effort to educate these clients," said Kathy Kuhn of the New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness. Authorities said the good news is that hepatitis A can be prevented with vaccination and that most people are infected to recover on their own. The problem is that once the epidemic starts, it takes about a year and a half to get back to normal. "As we vaccinate, we protect, but we will still monitor cases, even though we have vaccinated people, only by the nature of the body," said Philip Alexakos of the Manchester Department of Health and Human Services. Health officials said the best way to prevent the disease is to get vaccinated. The vaccine is available from healthcare providers and in many pharmacies.

Public health officials have been warning of a hepatitis A outbreak after an alarming number of cases were diagnosed in the last year.

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stated that they can usually count the number of cases of hepatitis A in a given year on two hands, but there are more than 200 cases of preventable disease in the last 11 months.

"We are experiencing a major epidemic of hepatitis A here in New Hampshire, as well as nationwide," said Beth Dali of the state Department of Health and Human Services. "There were (national) outbreaks of over 25,000. Here, in New Hampshire, we had 220 cases by November 2018."

Did he say that 30 states reported outbreaks of hepatitis A. About 44 percent of the cases in New Hampshire Hampshire were in Hillsborough County.

Government officials say the disease thrives in homeless populations, where people are often crowded together and have no access to baths, showers or clean laundry.

"This is a transient population by nature and that is why it is really important that we make a concerted effort to educate these clients," said Kathy Coon of the Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness.

Officials say the good news is that hepatitis A can be prevented by vaccination and that most people who are infected recover themselves. The problem is that once an epidemic has started, it takes about a year and a half to get back to normal.

"While vaccinated, we protect, but still treat cases, even though we are out-vaccinated people, just by the nature of the body," says Philip Alexakos of the Manchester Department of Health and Human Services.

Health officials say that the best way to prevent the disease is to get vaccinated. The vaccine is available from healthcare providers and many pharmacies.


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