Public health emergency is increased in Florida. This is because of an increased number of cases of hepatitis A. Many regions of the Florida dealing with outbreaks regarding liver disease. General Scott Rivkees who is Surgeon General of Florida declared emergency on Thursday to spend more time on the process of testing and treatment. There are more than two thousand cases in Florida in the beginning of the year. There was only 548 cases of hepatitis A in last year. Most of them have been in the Central part of Florida. Health experts are still finding the sources of it. An emergency was also declared in Philadelphia and Mississippi due to an outbreak in the region. According to the Disease Control and Prevention Center, Kentucky has 4,790 cases since an outbreak there in 2017.
The virus of Hepatitis A infects the human liver and this virus spread through water and food. The vaccines available for this since from 1995. In 2015, less than 1,401 cases were found nationwide. In the US, around three years ago, the number of hepatitis A cases started increasing among drug users and homeless individuals. More than 24 states reported such outbursts ever since. The cases have gone up to around 22,500 which include 221 fatalities. Administration of vaccines is largely done on kids. Hence, many of the new patients are generally adults.65 new cases have registered in Florida alone in the past two weeks, increasing the toll to 2,034. In comparison with 2018 (548) and 2017 (276), the number is relatively high. The disease is most likely spreading among unvaccinated and homeless people according to Dr. Eugene Schiff who is the director for Liver Diseases at Miami Miller School of Medicine. He said that men who have sex with men, drug users, and homeless individuals are at a higher risk. According to Dr. Schiff, homelessness is an enormous issue in the state of Florida and Hepatitis A is more epidemic in that community. He further mentioned that the disease is entirely preventable via vaccines.