42 cases of hepatitis A confirmed in San Bernardino County within last year, officials say

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- Public health officials in San Bernardino County are warning residents about 42 confirmed cases of hepatitis A within the last year.

The cases popped up between Jan. 1 of last year and Feb. 6, 2020, with clusters of cases identified in Redlands and San Bernardino, according to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. By comparison, only three cases were reported in all of 2018, officials added.

The outbreak is predominately being seen among "high-risk populations" such as drug users and people experiencing homelessness.

Medical professionals say the most effective way to prevent the virus is to receive the hepatitis A vaccine and regularly washing your hands.

The virus is an acute viral infection that infects the liver and is typically spread by coming in contact with feces from a person already infected. Symptoms of the disease include fatigue, sudden nausea and vomiting and poor appetite, according to health officials.
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