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Florida tops 100 hepatitis A cases in new year

Largest concentrations in January were in Duval, Polk counties

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After a major outbreak in 2019, Florida has topped 100 cases of hepatitis A in the new year.

As of Saturday, 101 cases had been reported in January, including 40 cases last week, according to the state Department of Health. The largest concentrations this month were in Duval and Polk counties, which had 12 and 10 cases, respectively, as of Saturday.

Hepatitis A can cause liver damage and is spread through such things as fecal matter. That can include transmission by people not properly washing their hands after going to the bathroom and contaminating food or drinks. Health officials have urged people to get vaccinated against the virus.

Florida totaled 3,397 reported cases in 2019, after having 548 cases in 2018 and 276 cases in 2017, Department of Health numbers show.