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Hepatitis A outbreak continues to spread in Pima County

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Posted at 1:40 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 15:40:15-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - Pima County health officials say a hepatitis A outbreak continues to spread in PIma County. Of the 34 recorded cases since November, 27 have hospitalized victims.

Officials say people at risk of contracting the disease include those using illicit drugs, and recommend those who are using or attempting to quit using drugs get vaccinated.

Twenty of the cases in the outbreak have popped up in January. Hep-A is known to damage the liver and can spread the virus through public defecation and touching objects afer not washing their hands. Food, drink and sexual activity can spread the virus.

"As we continue to see cases, we are diligently working to protect the people most vulnerable from becoming infected," said Deputy County Health Director Paula Mandel, in a statement. "We are seeing this outbreak hit users of illicit drugs, those trying to quit illicit drugs, and people experiencing homelessness. We want to get the word out that the safe and effective vaccine and good hand hygiene can help protect you."

To see a list of places to get vaccinated, visit www.pima.gov/hep-a [pima.gov].