An alarming trend is being watched by health officials in Oakland County after a recent outbreak of Hepatitis A.
"From last August to this August it went up. It was 63 cases, and the prior year we only had five in a similar period. Most of those cases are people who use illicit drugs," said Dr. Pamela Hackert, Chief of Medical Services Oakland County.
12 new cases have been reported in the last 10 days alone. These most recent cases are a bit more mysterious as to where they are coming from.
"At least nine of the people have not had any high risk behavior, whether it’s drug use or travel or contact with someone who has Hepatitis A."
The one common thread is location. This seems to be happening in Farmington Hills. Medical professionals are working to narrow down what is causing this outbreak. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to be spreading beyond that.
"In this case no secondary exposures have been identified. However, that is a risk because it can be spread from person to person."
Even those who test positive for Hepatitis A - aside from the stomach pain and overall sickness caused by the virus – the symptoms will likely not last too long.
"With Hepatitis A, a vast majority of people recover fully, but it can be quite debilitating while it’s ongoing."
Health officials say simple hand washing is the most effective way of stopping the spread of the virus.