MAINE, USA — Public health authorities in Maine say the number of reported cases of hepatitis A in Maine climbed by dozens last year.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that reported cases of the disease rose from nine in 2018 to 45 last year. A dozen of those cases were linked to a food-borne outbreak in Aroostook County in the northern part of the state.
Another 12 cases were in Kennebec County and six were in York County.
According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), thirty states across the country have reported outbreaks of hepatitis A, "primarily among people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness."
Maine DHHS said there are also currently outbreaks in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Hepatitis A virus causes liver infection and leads to symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea and jaundice. Maine CDC says the best way to prevent the virus is with a vaccine, and practicing good hygiene can also help.