Dayton-area Hep A outbreak on downturn, but officials still concerned

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton and Montgomery County’s number of hepatitis A cases have been on a downturn since the second week of January, but Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County remain concerned and cautious.  

“We’re still recommending people get the Hepatitis A vaccination if they haven’t,” Dan Suffoleto of PHDMC said. “We continue to remind people to properly handwash, particularly when eating or preparing food, and after they’ve used the restroom.” 

Montgomery County reported three cases last week. The county remained third in the state in number of outbreaks since the Ohio Department of Health began tracking at the beginning of 2018. Franklin County has the most with 309, while Butler County is second with 290.

Clark County had 38 cases reported prior to Tuesday’s confirmed infection of a Frisch’s employee that worked at both the Springfield and Urbana locations.  

While numbers have been down, the department is still urging caution for several reasons. 

“The confirmed cases are down, but there’s an incubation period of 15 to 50 days,” Suffoletto said. “We don’t want to get too far ahead as far as speculating on what numbers will be.” 

The numbers are still much higher than they have been in previous years. A year ago, from the beginning of 2018 through the end of March, there were no confirmed cases. In 2017, Montgomery County reported one case, while there no cases reported in 2016 or 2015.  

Hep A across Ohio 

According to numbers released this week by the Ohio Department of Health, the state passed 2000 cases since the outbreak began last year.  

Other info

  • Seven deaths have been reported from Hepatitis A. 
  • The youngest to be infected was 1 year old, while the oldest was 84. 
  • Sixty-percent of those infected are males.  
  • Over half of those infected (1,235) were hospitalized.  
  • Seventy-two of Ohio’s 88 counties (82 percent) have reported an infection. The 16 counties that haven’t reported an infection all reside in the northern half of the state.

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