DETROIT — State health officials investigating a hepatitis A outbreak in southeast Michigan report an increase in cases among men who are sexually active with men, the Associated Press reports.
There have been 11 such cases so far in October, compared to a total of 10 over the preceding 14 months, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services said that there have been more than 450 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in the city of Detroit and Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties since August 2016. About 85 percent of those cases involved hospitalizations. But more than 95 percent of cases specifically among men sexually active with men involved hospitalizations, the AP reports.
“We are seeing a large person-to-person transmission. It’s not that we have one particular food source or one specific drug,” linking all the cases, said Angela Minicuci, a spokeswoman for the department, according to the AP.
The department said that hepatitis A attacks the liver and causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark urine, clay-colored stool, fever, chills and jaundice. Time from exposure to onset of illness is usually 15-50 days, and the illness typically lasts several weeks to months.
Health officials are urging all men who engage in sex with men and others who are at risk to get vaccinated, the same guidance provided by the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the AP reports.