BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Over 400 cases of Hepatitis A were confirmed as part of an ongoing outbreak in Louisiana, data provided by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) showed Friday, July 26.
LDH identified 411 cases of the disease, five of which are not linked to the current outbreak. Those five unrelated cases could be the result of infections happening outside of Louisiana.
According to the Department of Health, the areas with the most cases are in Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes, ranging from 60 to 120.
Ouachita Parish ranks third and has 41-60 cases.
Morehouse Parish and Ascension Parish are next with 21-40 cases.
Union, Lincoln, Jackson, Caldwell, Richland, and West Carroll are each reported to have 1-20 cases.
LDH says 59 percent of those affected have been hospitalized. The only death reported to date was identified in data provided April 26. Specifics about the deceased were not immediately provided.
The outbreak was declared in January of 2018.
Hep A is contracted by consuming contaminated food or drink, through sex, and by being in close contact with someone in the same living quarters. Those at higher risk of getting the illness include travelers, pregnant women, people who inject drugs, and the homeless. An infected person can transmit the virus to others up to two weeks before symptoms appear, and even those who do not experience symptoms can transmit the virus to others.
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