TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The number of hepatitis A cases in Florida this year has reached 675, with about a third of the cases in Duval and Volusia counties, according to newly released data by the state Department of Health.

The overall total includes 71 cases diagnosed between June 1 and Saturday. Duval County has had 163 cases this year, while Volusia has had 58, the state numbers show.

They are followed by Brevard County, with 47 cases, and St. Johns County, with 37.

Florida had a major outbreak of hepatitis A last year, spurring state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees to issue a public health emergency in August.

Rivkees, who doubles as secretary of the Department of Health, encouraged citizens to get vaccinated and to wash their hands.

Hepatitis A, which causes liver damage, is spread through such things as fecal matter, sexual contact and intravenous drug use.

Cases this year are increasing at a slower pace than last year, when the state had 3,411 cases.

But this year’s total already tops the 548 cases in 2018 and is more than in the three previous years combined.

(©2020 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

Comments