Local health departments awarded funding to combat hepatitis A o - WNEM TV 5

Local health departments awarded funding to combat hepatitis A outbreak

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Source: CNN Source: CNN

Three Mid-Michigan health departments will receive funding to help combat the hepatitis A outbreak. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently issued $500,000 in grants to 25 local health departments to help combat Michigan’s hepatitis A outbreak.

Hepatitis A is a serious, highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus.

According to a press release, local health departments – including Bay County, Midland County and Tuscola County – were issued $20,000 each to increase vaccination outreach to high-risk populations.

“This has been the largest person-to-person hepatitis A outbreak in Michigan’s history, with more than 780 cases,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Increasing vaccination outreach to high-risk populations across the state is essential to stopping the spread of hepatitis A in Michigan.”

The funding is part of a $7.1 million appropriation approved by the Legislature in late 2017 to address the hepatitis A outbreak. It can be used for staffing to conduct educational and vaccination outreach efforts.

People with a history of injection and non-injection drug use, homelessness or transient housing, incarceration and men who have sex with men are thought to be at greater risk of contracting the disease, according to the MDHHS.                   

Getting vaccinated, practicing good hand washing and avoiding sex with infected partners are ways to prevent getting infected.

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