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The solution to three ongoing health outbreaks in Orange County is vaccination

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Health experts in Orange County are urging residents to get vaccinated against hepatitis A, a viral infection that is experiencing a local outbreak.

More than 60 people are sick with the virus, which causes jaundice, fever, and pains in the stomach and can lead to liver inflammation and damage. 

It is spread through contact with contaminated fecal material. 

Most of the identified cases in Orange County have been in gay and bisexual men, but anyone can get it.

Department of Health epidemiologist Alvina Chu says luckily, there's a shot for hepatitis, and it remains the best form of prevention against the illness. 

“The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to receive the hepatitis A vaccine.”

Chu says people should also practice good handwashing before preparing food in order to avoid fecal contamination. She says many of these infection control strategies should be familiar to people after three years of the COVID pandemic. 

People can get the hepatitis A shot at grocery stores such as Publix and Walmart and at your local health department.

An outbreak of meningitis and monkeypox is also being monitored in the area. Most of those cases are also in men who have sex with men.

Produced with assistance from the  Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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