With 56 new cases of Hepatitis A reported statewide in the week since the last reporting period, the Florida Surgeon General declared a public health emergency on Thursday, allowing health officials to test and treat people suspected of carrying the virus.
“I am declaring this Public Health Emergency as a proactive step to appropriately alert the public to this serious illness and prevent further spread of Hepatitis A in our state,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees said. “The best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination. It is important that we vaccinate as many high-risk individuals as possible in order to achieve herd immunity.”
The number of reported Hepatitis A cases in Florida in 2019 rose to 2,034 as of July 27, up from the 1,978 cases reported on July 20, the Florida Department of Health said.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia has declared a public health emergency as hepatitis A cases continue to skyrocket. A major source of the problem is human feces on city streets.
The outbreak is centered in the Kensington area, and city leaders say it’s mostly impacting the homeless community and drug users. But they say we all could be at risk.
“I know they’re trying to help and down in Kensington, we don’t get help down here,” Kensington resident Niyad Vaughn said.
Help is on the way to deal with the hepatitis A outbreak. It began with the health department declaring a public emergency Thursday.
“The emergency declaration is to call the healthcare community to partner with us rapidly, to administer vaccines to as many of these folks as we can, as soon as we can, to quell this outbreak,” Dr. Steven Alles, with the Philadelphia Department of Health, said.