Hepatitis A reports investigated by state, local health agencies
State, county, and regional health agencies are "investigating a cluster of Hepatitis A cases in the Omaha-metro area," the Douglas County Health Department confirmed Friday.
Five cases of
, typically transmitted via person-to-person contact or by ingesting contaminated food or water, have been reported in the past three weeks indicating that exposure likely occurred in mid-September, according to the DCHD.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Three Rivers Public Health Department are working with DCHD to determine the source of the exposure, the release states.
As officials continue "re-interviewing cases with extended food exposure questionnaires," the health departments are also getting the word out to Nebraska health professionals through official channels, the release states.
DCHD says symptoms of Hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and/or joint pain; severe stomach pains and diarrhea (mainly in children); and jaundice, which causes yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, and clay‐colored bowel movements.
Infections can occur among persons of all ages, DCHD officials said, and pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems are at increased risk of complications.
Those who have previously had Hepatitis A are considered immune to the virus, but those vaccinated for HAV can still be infected, though it is much less likely they will contract the virus, the DCHD release states.
Health officials advise anyone diagnosed with Hepatitis A to not work with or prepare food for a week after symptoms begin and not return to that work until the symptoms have been gone for a minimum of 24 hours.