September 25, 2021

Hepatitis A Vaccination Clinics Offered in Citrus County, Florida

Hepatitis A vaccination clinics are being offered in Citrus County, Florida as a result of an increase in illnesses in the first five months of 2021. The two-dose vaccine series is being offered at no cost to adults who are 18 years of age and older at the Duke Energy/DOH-Citrus COVID-19 Vaccination Site in Crystal River.

Hepatitis A Vaccination Clinics Offered in Citrus County, Florida

No appointment is necessary to receive this vaccine. The clinic is located at 8200 West Venable Street in Crystal River on these dates: Saturday and Sunday, June 19 through June 20, 2021, from 9:00 am to noon. The vaccines are also offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

In 2020, only 14 hepatitis cases were reported in the county. As of May 8, 2021, 12 cases have been repotted, and eight of those cases were reported since April. DOH-Citrus Administrator Ernesto “Tito” Rubio said in a statement, “While we are not seeing the increase we did in 2019, we are on track to exceed the total number of cases we saw in 2020 alone. Those at risk need to know that there’s an effective vaccine that protects them from this disease and it is readily available.”

Hepatitis A is a very contagious virus that infects the liver and can cause serious health problems especially for people with liver disease and anyone with a chronic illness. The virus spreads through feces of infected people. If someone who is infected doesn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, then touches other objects or prepares food, they can spread the virus. Worse, people are infectious up to two weeks before they even know they are sick.

Symptoms of hepatitis A, which can appear up to 50 days after infection, include a fever, pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, fatigue, dark colored urine, light clay-colored stools, diarrhea, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.

The best way to prevent this illness is through vaccination. People should also stay home when they are sick, especially with a diarrheal illness, and should not prepare food or drink for anyone when they are sick. Visiting the hepatitis A vaccination clinics will help stop this outbreak.

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