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Hepatitis Blog Surveillance & Analysis on Hepatitis News & Outbreaks

Jail House Hepatitis A Risk

hepatitisa1Oakland County Jail officials are warning inmates incarcerated there earlier this month that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

A male prisoner in the jail tested positive for the virus, an infection of the liver which can lead to liver failure in people with a weak immune system. It’s caused by a virus expelled in feces and most often spread person to person by contaminated hands.

The sheriff’s office is advising anyone detained in the jail between May 8-23 to contact the county health division to determine potential exposure.

Bouchard said jail officials already have sanitized the areas where the inmate was housed and begun contacting anyone who might have come in contact with him.

Hepatitis A symptoms may appear from two to six weeks after exposure and include sudden abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, light-colored bowel movements and vomiting.

“Hepatitis A is contagious, but can be prevented with vaccination if given within 14 days of last exposure,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, a county health officer.