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Health department investigating potential outbreak of hepatitis A in Omaha – KETV Omaha


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The Douglas County Health Department is investigating a “potential outbreak” of hepatitis A in Omaha.Over the last three weeks, five people, all female, have contracted the disease. The ages of the individuals ranges from 14 to 73. Usually, the health department sees 0 to 4 cases per year.Three people were hospitalized. At least two of them were released from the hospital.It is not clear what has caused the five people to contract the disease. “We don’t have a common area and we don’t have a common place that these individuals visited,” said Dr. Adi Pour, director of the Douglas County Health Department.Pour said the department believes the victims were exposed in mid-September, and started showing symptoms around mid-October to early November.The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Douglas County Health Department and Three Rivers Public Health Department are investigating the reported cases. Health investigators are sending tests to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention to see if the cases are linked. They don’t expect to get results for a few weeks. Health officials said international travel and shared needles are not the cause of the cases.The County Health Department sent a letter to area health officials, asking to report any patients who are showing symptoms. Pour said she doesn’t think people need to be concerned.”Any more cases may actually help us determine what the potential exposure was,” Pour said.Pour said the department is also speaking with other states to see if the Omaha cases are part of something bigger.”Are there other outbreaks occurring at the same time? Could our cases be part of a national outbreak?” Pour said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis A is a highly contagious infection that affects the liver. It is caused by a virus and can be a severe illness that lasts for several months.Symptoms of the disease include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and/or joint pain, according to the Douglas County Health Department. WATCH: Douglas County Health Department’s Dr. Adi Pour addresses the situation:Severe stomach pains and diarrhea are also symptoms, but these mainly impact children, according to the health department. The CDC states that the disease typically spreads when someone ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks that are contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. For more information about hepatitis A and how the disease is spread, click here. If symptoms arise, you should contact your health care provider immediately. Stay with KETV NewsWatch 7 for updates on this developing story.

The Douglas County Health Department is investigating a “potential outbreak” of hepatitis A in Omaha.

Over the last three weeks, five people, all female, have contracted the disease. The ages of the individuals ranges from 14 to 73. Usually, the health department sees 0 to 4 cases per year.

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Three people were hospitalized. At least two of them were released from the hospital.

It is not clear what has caused the five people to contract the disease.

“We don’t have a common area and we don’t have a common place that these individuals visited,” said Dr. Adi Pour, director of the Douglas County Health Department.

Pour said the department believes the victims were exposed in mid-September, and started showing symptoms around mid-October to early November.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Douglas County Health Department and Three Rivers Public Health Department are investigating the reported cases.

Health investigators are sending tests to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention to see if the cases are linked. They don’t expect to get results for a few weeks.

Health officials said international travel and shared needles are not the cause of the cases.

The County Health Department sent a letter to area health officials, asking to report any patients who are showing symptoms. Pour said she doesn’t think people need to be concerned.

“Any more cases may actually help us determine what the potential exposure was,” Pour said.

Pour said the department is also speaking with other states to see if the Omaha cases are part of something bigger.

“Are there other outbreaks occurring at the same time? Could our cases be part of a national outbreak?” Pour said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis A is a highly contagious infection that affects the liver. It is caused by a virus and can be a severe illness that lasts for several months.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and/or joint pain, according to the Douglas County Health Department.

WATCH: Douglas County Health Department’s Dr. Adi Pour addresses the situation:

Severe stomach pains and diarrhea are also symptoms, but these mainly impact children, according to the health department.

The CDC states that the disease typically spreads when someone ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks that are contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.

For more information about hepatitis A and how the disease is spread, click here.

If symptoms arise, you should contact your health care provider immediately.

Stay with KETV NewsWatch 7 for updates on this developing story.


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