The Georgia Department of Public Health is reporting a statewide outbreak of Hepatitis A virus (HAV) after 250 cases of the infection have been identified.
The department says the cases date as far back as June 2018. The number of cases identified is nine times higher than the total of 24 infections identified in 2017, the department says.
HAV is most commonly spread through close person-to-person transmission through fecal-oral exposure, according to the department.
It can also be transmitted through contaminated food, water or other objects.
Drug users, homeless populations and men who have sex with men are the most at risk for HAV, the department says.
Symptoms usually occur abruptly and can include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored bowel movements
- Joint pain
The best way to prevent HAV is to get vaccinated.
For more information on Hepatitis A and vaccinations, click here.