The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed the state’s first death related to a multi-state outbreak of hepatitis A, a very contagious disease of the liver.
Nearly 4,000 illnesses have been reported from this outbreak in 10 states and resulted in multiple fatalities across the nation.
Since November of last year, ISDH has had 214 confirmed outbreak-related cases of hepatitis A. It is common for Indiana to see about 20 cases in a year.
Hepatitis A is usually transmitted person-to-person through fecal-oral routes, or by consuming contaminated food or water. Individuals most at risk are those who use illicit drugs, the homeless, men who have sex with men and those who are incarcerated.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice.
Individuals can become ill 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus. A doctor is able to determine if someone has the virus with a blood test.