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State probes hepatitis A outbreak

“This is CSI-level investigation that has to be done.”

Flanked by lawmakers and Martin County officials, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez said Friday the state “will leave no stone unturned” as it investigates a hepatitis A outbreak.

Florida reported 690 cases of the disease between Jan. 1 and March 31, with the number of cases steadily increasing each month since April 2018, according to the Florida Department of Health website.

The Martin County Health Department this week confirmed 19 cases in the county and three deaths associated with complications of the contagious liver disease.

The disease can be spread through such things as food or drinks that have been contaminated with fecal matter from people with hepatitis A, according to the Martin County Health Department website.

Nunez and other officials urged people to get vaccinated against the disease.

“Getting vaccinated is the single most important action people that are at risk can take in order to avoid getting hepatitis A,” Nunez said.

The lieutenant governor was joined at the news conference by officials such as Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Gayle Harrell of Stuart, House Health Care Appropriations Chairwoman MaryLynn Magar of Tequesta, Palm City Rep. Toby Overdorf and U.S. Rep. Brian Mast. The state Department of Health is working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate the outbreak.

“This is CSI-level investigation that has to be done,” Harrell said.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. M. Scully

    April 13, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    It’s obvious what the cause is. Either the septic tanks are contaminating the private wells or the sewage that is being dumped in the ocean is not being treated properly. I doubt if 12 people all ate at the same restaurant. If it’s the ocean they have to keep it quiet so it doesn’t kill the economy and tourist industry. The green slime a few months ago was bad enough. This is 100 times worse.

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