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Hepatitis A Outbreak!

Palm Beach, Martin counties declare Hepatitis A outbreak.

On Tuesday, the Palm Beach County Health Department confirmed there have been six cases since the first of the year. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease, usually spread person to person through objects, food or drinks that are contaminated by fecal matter from an infected person. The CDC recommends unvaccinated people who have been exposed within two weeks to the hepatitis A virus get the vaccine or a shot of immune globulin to prevent severe illness. At least five of Palm Beach County's cases were reported within the past 50 days.

“Children forget to wash their hands. They’re touching things, putting their hands in their mouths. The same thing if you go to the grocery store and you shake somebody’s hand, or if you go to church and shake somebody’s hand. It’s so important that you continuously wash your hands when there is any kind of outbreak,” she said.

The Health Department of Martin County, which has a total of 16 cases, is now narrowing in on a source.Eleven of those 16 cases reported since last Monday.

A Palm City husband and wife died two weeks ago due to complications from the disease, officials have said.

There are 1,200 cases confirmed cases of hepatitis A statewide.

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