Hepatitis A cases in New Hampshire on the rise
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire health officials say the number of hepatitis A cases in the state is on the rise.
The Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that from last November to early September, 220 people were diagnosed with the disease, compared to an average of six or seven annually in recent years. One person in Merrimack County died.
Beth Daly, chief of the Bureau of Infection Disease Control, tells WMUR-TV there’s been a national outbreak of over 25,000 hepatitis A cases.
State officials said the disease thrives in homeless populations, where people are often crowded together and don’t have access to bathrooms, showers or clean laundry. Hepatitis A causes inflammation of the liver and can include fever, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, and jaundice. It’s preventable with a vaccine.