Hepatitis A spike reported in Treasure Valley, 6 confirmed cases

Posted at 4:14 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 18:14:09-05

Less than three months into 2019, Central District Health Department sees an unprecedented spike in hepatitis A across the Treasure Valley.

Usually, there are only 1-2 reported cases in a year. Currently, we're sitting at a whopping six reported cases since January.

"There's very little commonality, other than we're looking at 5 Ada county residence, 1 Elmore county resident, all of the folks who've been ill have been men, and the age range has been about 30-60 years," said public information officer Christine Myron.

The disease is usually spread through fecal-oral contact and takes up to 4 weeks for infected individuals to experience symptoms, which makes tracking the origin very difficult.

"In these cases were asking people to go back a month ago and look at things like where did people eat their meals, did they eat them at home or a restaurant, what were their activities, were they traveling," said Myron.

Of the 6 cases none of the people work in high-risk industries, such as food service and caregiving but still, other populations are especially susceptible, including those who aren't vaccinated. CDHD says they're not certain if those infected had received their vaccinations, but there's been a national decline in cases since its creation in 1995.

"Kids today if they're on the regular vaccine schedule, the first one usually from 12 months to 23 months and then that's followed up again," said Myron.

As of Wednesday, there aren't any additional confirmed cases, but symptoms include extreme fatigue, jaundicing, and abdominal pain. CDHD says they're still early on in the investigation.