WEST MICHIGAN - Since the summer of 2016, cases of hepatitis A have skyrocketed in the state of Michigan. While West Michigan has yet to be severely impacted, with the majority of cases being seen around Detroit and Flint, health officials here are urging the public to get vaccinated.
Nearly 900 cases of hepatitis A have popped up in recent years, with over 80% requiring hospitalization of some kind. A few have even led to a loss of life in the most extreme cases. While other states have had their own outbreaks of hepatitis A, Michigan holds the top spot in the nation.
“What has been going on more recently in the close to two years now is different; it has been sustained, multi-state, and numbers haven’t been coming down," says Douglas Hoch of the Muskegon Health Department. Officials there have not had to deal with a case just yet, but are trying their best to never have to deal with one at all.
According to A.J. Locke, an RN with the Muskegon Health Department, vaccination is key but also make sure you wash your hands. Whether you’re going to prepare food or after you use the bathroom, washing your hands can prevent a lot.
If you are hoping to get vaccinated, visit your health providers office or local health department. It will be administered to you and your loved ones at little to no cost.