State launches tracking tool amid Hepatitis A outbreak

Health officials launch Hep A tracking tool

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The state of Arizona has a new way to track Hepatitis A amid an outbreak affecting many communities, especially Pima County.

The Arizona Department of Health Services just launched a new dashboard that gives the public a closer look at the number of cases and the counties and populations most affected.

Health leaders in Pima County said there are about 200 confirmed cases, with numbers fluctuating at times.

For example, recently the county was seeing about three cases per week, a significant drop from the 10-12 it had been seeing.

The health department said the trend is not out of the norm for an outbreak, in fact, the number of cases is now going back up.

“This is not unusual. We expect for a period of time that there is going to be some fluctuations so we are being vigilant and we are watching. But we’re not too concerned with the ups and downs," said Paula Mandel of the Pima County Health Department.

According to this new dashboard, there are about 339 cases statewide. About 50 percent of those who contracted the virus were homeless and used drugs.

Here's what you can do to help fight the outbreak:

  • Get vaccinated. Check the vaccine finder to find a location near you
  • Wash your hands (after using the bathroom or before preparing food)
  • Spread the word on how to stop Hep A

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