HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO BEGIN HEPATITIS A VACCINATIONS

Westover, Md. – The Somerset County Health Department has announced that it is offering no cost Hepatitis A vaccinations to anyone over the age of 19 every Monday by appointment beginning April 8th at their clinic located at 8928 Sign Post Road in Westover.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is spread by not washing hands, having sex with infected partners, using recreational drugs and eating or drinking food that is contaminated. It can be prevented with proper hand washing and getting vaccinated. Anyone who is experiencing homelessness, uses drugs, are currently or were recently incarcerated, have sex with other men, travel internationally, or have hepatitis C should get vaccinated. 

“Vaccinations are being offered in response to a national outbreak of Hepatitis A and to prevent the spread of disease locally,” states Danielle Weber, Administrative Deputy Health Officer at the Somerset County Health Department. 

Hepatitis A can be serious and last from a few weeks to many months. In extreme cases it can lead to death. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A can include the following:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movement
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

The signs and symptoms usually appear 2-4 weeks after exposure, although they may occur 2-7 weeks after exposure. There is no medicine to treat hepatitis A as it is caused by a virus. The best prevention is vaccination.  

To schedule a vaccination appointment call 443.523.1740. For more information, visit cdc.gov/hepatitis

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