JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Twenty-seven cases of Hepatitis A have been identified in Clark County since December.
Clark County Health Department spokesman Dr. Eric Yazel said its spread is far from over.
There is no treatment for Hepatitis A, Yazel said, so prevention is key. He said he recommends regular handwashing with soap and hot water for around 30 seconds, careful food preparation and use of care and protection when coming into contact with bodily fluids.
It can take two to four weeks for the symptoms of Hepatitis A to show up, Yazel said, meaning you may have spread it before you realize you have it. Even when symptoms do show up, it can be difficult to diagnose.
"The problem is, the symptoms are very, very similar to the good old-fashioned stomach flu," Yazel said. "And so, we don't know initially, could this be Hepatitis A? Could this just be a virus? And then suddenly, they're jaundiced and much sicker and a high infectious risk. So it does cause a screening challenge from the health department side of things."
If you think you have Hepatitis A, don't go to the emergency room, Yazel said. Contact your family physician, who can determine if you need to be tested.