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Efforts made to slow spread of hepatitis A in NH – WMUR Manchester

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Efforts made to slow spread of hepatitis A in NH – WMUR Manchester

New Hampshire health officials are working to control the spread of hepatitis A, which is in the early stages of an outbreak in the state.The virus that can lead to liver failure and, in some cases, death. Those at risk include the homeless and people who use drugs, and workers at the Farnum Center in Manchester are trying to educate their clients about the issue.>> Download the FREE WMUR app”Quite a few of the women here obtained the vaccine,” said Dorcas Boursiquot, director of nursing at the Farnum Center.Although there’s no specific treatment for the virus, there’s a way to prevent it.”We have a very good vaccine,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “One dose is estimated to give about 95 percent of people immunity or protection against the infection.”Health officials raised the alarm after a recent spike in the number of cases of hepatitis A.”In the last three months, we had 13 total hepatitis A cases,” Chan said. “Seven of those were in January alone.”Although some groups are more at risk of contracting the virus, anyone can become infected.”Hepatitis A is spread through fecal-oral transmission,” Chan said. “People are exposed to it when they unknowingly ingest small amounts of the virus from contaminated food, drink or surfaces.”The virus can also survive on surfaces for long periods of time. At-risk populations, including young children and those with chronic liver disease, are urged to get vaccinated.”It’s about remaining vigilant, informing them to wash their hands after utilizing the restroom and how it can be contracted overall,” Chan said.Manchester Health Department officials said they’re working with several agencies to spread awareness and to give out the vaccine to high-risk groups.

MANCHESTER, N.H. —

New Hampshire health officials are working to control the spread of hepatitis A, which is in the early stages of an outbreak in the state.

The virus that can lead to liver failure and, in some cases, death. Those at risk include the homeless and people who use drugs, and workers at the Farnum Center in Manchester are trying to educate their clients about the issue.

>> Download the FREE WMUR app

“Quite a few of the women here obtained the vaccine,” said Dorcas Boursiquot, director of nursing at the Farnum Center.

Although there’s no specific treatment for the virus, there’s a way to prevent it.

“We have a very good vaccine,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “One dose is estimated to give about 95 percent of people immunity or protection against the infection.”

Health officials raised the alarm after a recent spike in the number of cases of hepatitis A.

“In the last three months, we had 13 total hepatitis A cases,” Chan said. “Seven of those were in January alone.”

Although some groups are more at risk of contracting the virus, anyone can become infected.

“Hepatitis A is spread through fecal-oral transmission,” Chan said. “People are exposed to it when they unknowingly ingest small amounts of the virus from contaminated food, drink or surfaces.”

The virus can also survive on surfaces for long periods of time. At-risk populations, including young children and those with chronic liver disease, are urged to get vaccinated.

“It’s about remaining vigilant, informing them to wash their hands after utilizing the restroom and how it can be contracted overall,” Chan said.

Manchester Health Department officials said they’re working with several agencies to spread awareness and to give out the vaccine to high-risk groups.

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