Hepatitis A cases hit nearly 700

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Pinellas County public health workers talk to residents in 2019 about a hepatitis A outbreak.
SCOTT KEELER/TAMPA BAY TIMES/TNS

According to newly release data from the Florida Department of Health, the number of hepatitis A cases in Florida has reached 675 this year, with about a third of the cases in Duval and Volusia counties.

Duval County has had 163 cases, while Volusia has had 58, the state numbers show. They are followed by Brevard County, with 47 cases, and St. Johns County, with 37. The state’s overall total also includes 71 new cases diagnosed since June 1.

Florida had a major outbreak of hepatitis A last year, with 3,411 cases reported. The high number prompted the state’s Surgeon General Scott Rivkees to issue a public health emergency in August. Rivkees, who also serves as secretary of the Department of Health, encouraged citizens to get vaccinated and wash their hands.

Hepatitis A, which causes liver damage, is in a variety of ways including, fecal matter, sexual contact and intravenous drug use.

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