Two cases of Hepatitis A confirmed in Warren - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Two cases of Hepatitis A confirmed in Warren

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WARREN, Ohio -

The city of Warren has two confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in the midst of a multi-state outbreak. 

Less than a week after an employee from the Warren Taco Bell was diagnosed with the virus, 21 News has learned of an additional case. 

Robert Pinti, Warren Health Commissioner, confirmed that an inmate in the Trumbull County Jail also recently tested positive for Hepatitis A. 

As of now, there have not been any additional cases in the jail and vaccines will be made available to prisoners. 

Eight other employees from the Taco Bell on Elm Road, where the other case of Hepatitis A was reported, were tested after showing symptoms of the virus but were cleared. 

Twenty-four employees from that restaurant were subsequently vaccinated as a precaution.

According to a statement from Taco Bell Corporate communications, the location on Elm Road was also thoroughly sanitized.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, as of November 5, there have been four confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in Trumbull County and 813 confirmed cases statewide. 

The Trumbull County Health Department tells 21 News, the other two cases were linked to the multi-state outbreak, but it is unclear if the Warren cases are related. 

The Ohio Department of Health says Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease that usually spreads when a person ingests fecal matter - even in microscopic amounts - from contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the stool of an infected person.  

Hepatitis A can also be spread from close personal contact with an infected person, such as through sex.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, clay-colored stools, and jaundice.  People with hepatitis A can experience mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

People at increased risk for hepatitis A in this outbreak include:

  • People with direct contact with individuals infected with the virus
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who use street drugs whether they are injected or not
  • People who are incarcerated
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • People who have traveled to other areas of the U.S. currently experiencing outbreaks
  • The Ohio Department of Health says vaccines are available for those who think they are at high-risk. 

In addition, those who believe they may have been exposed to a person with Hepatitis A may also be candidates for a post-exposure vaccine. ODH says if you believe you've been exposed to Hepatitis should contact their healthcare provider. 

Outbreaks of hepatitis A have been reported in several states across the country, including states neighboring Ohio.
 

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