The Shiawassee County Health Department (SCHD) has confirmed a case of hepatitis A associated with the Shiawassee County Jail. Individuals who were incarcerated in the Shiawassee County Jail between May 29 and June 18, 2018 may have been exposed to hepatitis A. The SCHD and the Shiawassee County Jail are working closely together to identify potential exposure.
Vaccination can prevent the disease, if given within 14 days after exposure. Anyone who was incarcerated in the Shiawassee County Jail during the aforementioned dates, and has not been vaccinated for hepatitis A or who has sudden onset of any symptoms, should contact their doctor. It is important to get the vaccination as soon as possible.
The SCHD, in partnership with the Shiawassee County Jail, started a vaccine campaign in May. To date, approximately 70 inmates have been vaccinated. The hepatitis A vaccine is also available through some healthcare providers and many pharmacies. Residents are encouraged to call ahead to ensure their provider or pharmacy has the vaccine available.
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. The virus is shed in feces and is most commonly spread from person to person by unclean hands contaminated with feces. Symptoms of infection may include sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine and/or vomiting, often followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Symptoms may appear from 14 to 50 days after exposure, but average about one month.
To reduce the risk of hepatitis A:
• Get the hepatitis A vaccine
• Wash hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing and eating food. Rub hands vigorously with soap and warm running water for at least 20 seconds
• Clean and disinfect all surfaces areas, especially while someone in the household or workplace has symptoms. Particular care needs to be taken with areas such as toilets, sinks, trash, doorknobs and faucet handles
• Do not prepare food if exhibiting symptoms, and refrain from food preparation for at least three days after symptoms have ended
For more information about hepatitis A, visit www.michigan.gov/hepatitisaoutbreak, or contact the Shiawassee County Health Department at (989) 743-2356.