Idaho experiences a major increase in Hepatitis A cases

Health officials in Idaho have seen a major increase in the number of Hepatitis A cases.

The number of people sickened by the illness in the Gem State has jumped by 550 percent between 2018 and 2019. This year there have been a reported 44 Hepatitis A cases, with 26 of those in the central; health district of Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley counties. Only 8 cases were reported statewide in 2018.

Epidemiologists say the uptick of Hepatitis A cases is also happening nationally.

While it’s difficult to say what’s behind the increase, there are some people at a greater risk than others, including the homeless, drug users, and homosexual men.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, dark urine, light-colored stool, and can last for weeks or months.

Hepatitis A vaccines have been part of children’s normal vaccine schedule since 1999, and those who are unsure whether they have the vaccine face no adverse effects if they accidentally get the vaccine twice. (KTVB)