FL Health Emergency Tied To Gay Sex, Drug Use

“In 2018, Brevard County had three confirmed cases of Hepatitis A, according to health department data. There have been 116 confirmed Hepatitis A cases for 2019.” Florida Today | Source: Brevard County Health Department

Oct. 8, 2019

| Florida Today – So far in 2019, there have been 2,738 Hepatitis A cases in Florida.

There were 548 cases statewide in 2018 and 276 cases in 2017. Pasco, Pinellas, Volusia, Orange and Hillsborough counties have the most cases.

Prompted by the sudden spike across the state this year, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees declared a public health emergency Aug. 1 to address the surge.

The Florida Department of Health renewed a statewide Hepatitis A health advisory Sept. 30, calling on citizens to vaccinate and remain aware of the disease’s impact.

Alberto Moscoso, communications director for the state agency, said:

“The Florida Department of Health has been working closely with community partners such as health care providers, jails and drug treatment centers as well as many of our fellow agencies to vaccinate high-risk individuals.”

Coming in close contact with drug addicts, homosexual men increases risk  

Hepatitis A is caused by a contagious virus that infects the liver, and can lead to liver problems. The virus spreads through the feces of people who have the virus.

If a person with the virus doesn’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom, feces can get on their hands and can transfer to objects, food and drinks. When these things are shared, other people can unknowingly swallow the virus.

If a person who has the virus comes in close contact or touches other people, the virus can also spread, according to state health officials.

Symptoms usually start two to six weeks after infection and last less than two months.

Symptoms can include: Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, yellow skin or eyes (jaundice), diarrhea, joint pain, pale or clay-colored feces, dark-colored urine, fever and fatigue.

Anyone who suspects they have symptoms should see a physician as soon as possible, health officials urge.

According to the World Health Organization, people at high risk for Hepatitis A include those who:

High-risk areas often include drug treatment centers, hospitals, and jailsRead more.