SWGA health officials taking action to prevent Hepatitis A outbreak

SWGA health officials taking action to prevent Hepatitis A outbreak
Fall has not officially begun yet, but health officials in southwest Georgia said Thursday that this year's flu season is already underway. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Health officials in Southwest Georgia said Thursday that they are preparing for the possibility of a Hepatitis A outbreak.

The state of Georgia has already seen an outbreak in recent months.

Jacqueline Jenkins, an epidemiologist with the Southwest Georgia Health District, said that Georgia has seen nearly 630 confirmed Hepatitis A cases over the last year.

That's compared to a typical 30 or 40 cases.

The Southwest Georgia Public Health District said that two cases are confirmed in our region.

But, with outbreaks in Georgia and just over the state line in Florida, health officials said they are preparing and educating the public now, just in case.

Fall has not officially begun yet, but health officials in southwest Georgia said Thursday that this year's flu season is already underway.
Fall has not officially begun yet, but health officials in southwest Georgia said Thursday that this year's flu season is already underway. (Source: WALB)

"Some of the counties that are connected to us, they have Hepatitis A," Jenkins explained. "So, you know with all kinds of infectious diseases, they don't really take care of borders. We are preparing our communities."

Jenkins said these groups are most at risk for Hep. A:

- Elicit drug users

- people who have been in prison

- men who have intercourse with men

- substance abusers

You can get the Hepatitis A vaccine at your local health department.

Jenkins said they have also been talking with food handlers in the area to ensure they are taking proper precautions and getting vaccinated as well.

The Southwest Georgia Health District covers Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell and Worth counties.

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