The Washtenaw County Health Department has launched a county-wide campaign to “Stop Hep A.” The campaign encourages residents to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and wash their hands in order to stop the hepatitis A outbreak in Washtenaw and across Michigan.
“Even though we are in the midst of one of the largest hepatitis A outbreaks in the country, most Washtenaw County adults are still unvaccinated against the virus,” says Susan Cerniglia, MPH, communications manager at the Washtenaw County Health Department. “We want everyone to know that this outbreak is stoppable if more adults get vaccinated and everyone washes their hands well and often.”
The “Stop Hep A” campaign includes prevention messages on billboards, inside buses, at movie theaters, and through flyers, handouts, and the Health Department’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Materials are available at bit.ly/HepAFlyers, or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of Aug. 29, 2018, there have been 880 cases of hepatitis A diagnosed and 28 deaths in Michigan since Aug. 2016. Eighteen cases in Washtenaw County have been confirmed as part of the outbreak. No common sources of food, beverages, or drugs have been identified as a potential source of infection.
Talk to your health care provider or call the Health Department at 734-544-6700 to get the hepatitis A vaccine.
As of mid-August 2018, the Washtenaw County Health Department and area health care providers have given over 15,000 hepatitis A vaccinations to local adults since October 2017 (Michigan Care Improvement Registry).
Because the virus spreads through the feces (poop) of people with hepatitis A, proper handwashing is vital in stopping its spread. Hand sanitizer does not kill the hepatitis A virus. Learn more about the outbreak at washtenaw.org/StopHepA.