UPDATE: 420+ cases of Hepatitis A confirmed in Louisiana outbreak

As of Aug. 2, 2019, Louisiana has 428 reported cases of HAV infection, five of which are not linked to the current outbreak. These are cumulative counts since Jan. 1, 2018. (Source: Louisiana Department of Health)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Over 420 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, Aug. 2.

LDH identified 428 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.

Ouachita Parish has 41-60 cases. Morehouse Parish has 21-40 cases.

According to LDH, the areas with the most cases are in Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes, ranging from 6LDH 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.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.1 to 120.