Illinois health officials are reminding parents they should get hepatitis A protection for their children.
The rate of child immunizations for hepatitis A is increasing, almost doubling nationally from 26 percent in 2006 to 47 percent in 2007.
The increase was attributed to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in 2006 recommending immunization for all children in the United States – not just areas with high rates of the disease – and lowering its recommended age for the shot from two years to 12 to 23 months.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by ingesting even microscopic amounts of fecal matter in food or other sources.
In Illinois, the immunization rate more than tripled from 12 to 37 percent, while still lagging behind the rest of the country.