Ohio hospitals see jump in hepatitis A cases

Ohio hospitals are working with county health departments to combat a surge in hepatitis A cases, according to the Journal-News.

Butler and Montgomery counties in Ohio had 62 and 81 cases, respectively, as of Sept. 24, the state health department reported. Numbers of outbreak-linked cases in the counties have jumped to 127 and 118 cases, respectively, through Oct. 22.

According to the most recent data from the Butler County General Health District, Fort Hamilton (Ohio) Hospital has diagnosed 79 patients with hepatitis A this year.

"Fort Hamilton Hospital has been working with the Butler County General Health District in reporting volumes, pertinent transmission and presentation data for outbreak investigational purposes," said Erika Sanso, MSN, RN, the hospital's director of clinical quality. "We are actively screening patients presenting with symptoms."

The hospital is providing extensive education for patients, including community resources on where vaccination is possible, Ms. Sanso said.

Although Montgomery and Butler are the only counties with more than 100 cases so far in 2018, the outbreak is statewide. As of Oct. 22, there have been 717 cases recorded in 54 of Ohio's counties this year, resulting in 451 hospitalizations and one death.

The median number of annual cases from 2012 to 2016 was only 38, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

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