Update: Hepatitis A in Martin County
The Health Department in Martin County is urging good hand washing and vaccination to stop the spread of Hepatitis A in the community. The Health Department has confirmed 19 cases of Hepatitis A in Martin County and 3 deaths associated with complications from the virus.
The Florida Department of Health has launched an information line, email box and a website to address general questions about Hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A, Information Line: 1-844-CALL-DOH (1-844-225-5364)
available Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Email questions: HepA@flhealth.gov
The Hepatitis A vaccine is available in the community via health care providers and local pharmacies. Vaccine supply is arriving daily in the county. The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is offering the Hepatitis A vaccine for uninsured or underinsured adults (ages 19 and older) on a walk-in basis, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, 3441 SE Willoughby Blvd., Stuart. Appointments are also available by calling: 772-221-4000 and pressing option 3 for Immunizations.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease. While normally not fatal, persons with chronic disease, compromised immune systems and senior citizens are more likely to experience a severe illness, leading to liver failure and possible death.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider for evaluation and testing.
The investigation into the possible modes of transmission for Hepatitis A in Martin County continues. The Health Department is utilizing local, regional and state resources in this investigation. An investigation includes interviews with confirmed cases to gather lifestyle information, including food histories, that can help to pinpoint common links.
There have been more than 1,300 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A statewide. The Florida Department of Health considers a community “high risk” when the confirmed number of cases reaches 5. Martin County reached high risk status with 5 confirmed cases as of Monday, April 1.
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease usually spread person to person through objects, food or drink that are contaminated by small amounts of fecal matter transmitted from a person with Hepatitis A.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus with a range of 15-50 days. Symptoms can include:
- Jaundice (yellowing skin and whites of eyes)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Dark-colored urine
- Pale or clay colored stool
What should Martin County residents do?
- Seek medical attention if any person experiences symptoms of illness.
- Contact a healthcare provider or primary care physician with questions or concerns. Underlying health problems such as existing liver disease or clotting-factor disorders can make you more likely to get sick from hepatitis A.
- Visit www.martincountyhealth.com for detailed information and printable resources.
- Exercise good hygiene – hand washing for a minimum of 20 seconds, after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food.
- The Hepatitis A vaccine became part of the standard vaccine series for children in 1995. If parents have questions about their child’s vaccination status, they should contact their child’s pediatrician.
- To ensure adequate access to the vaccine, the Florida Department of Health in Martin County will provide the Hepatitis A vaccine to those who are uninsured or under-insured. For an appointment, call 772-221-4000, then press 3 for Immunizations.
This document may be reproduced upon request in an alternative format by contacting the County ADA Coordinator (772) 320-3131, the County Administration Office (772) 288-5400, Florida Relay 711, or by completing our accessibility feedback form at www.martin.fl.us/accessibility-feedback.
STUART MARTIN COUNTY CHAMBER’S PRESIDENT REPORT
Floridians voted to approve 11 constitutional amendments on issues ranging from restoring felons’ voting rights to banning greyhound racing.
Many Republican lawmakers hope to avoid a repeat of such ballot-driven decision-making in the future. Proposals are being offered by the Legislature that would make it harder for citizens and groups to put constitutional amendments on the ballot making it tougher to pass amendments that get there.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon consider a bill that would place new restrictions on the petition-gathering process that is critical to getting citizens’ initiatives on the ballot. Also moving forward in the House last week was a proposal that would require two-thirds of voters to approve future constitutional amendments. That would be up from the current 60 percent threshold.
The proposals are the latest chapter in a long-running debate in Tallahassee about the constitutional-amendment process. Supporters of changing the process argue that the Constitution shouldn’t be a playing field for policy disputes that can be resolved in the Legislature. But opponents of the changes contend that groups are forced to go the constitutional route because lawmakers won’t act on issues supported by voters.
2020 is shaping up as potentially another year of ballot battles. Issues that could go before voters include increasing the minimum wage, revamping the electric utility industry and banning possession of “assault” weapons.
We have supported changing the process to avoid ludicrous Constitutional Amendments appearing on the ballot. Stay tuned!
Information provided by NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
The views and opinions expressed on WHLG Coast 101.3 website are those of The Martin County Chamber of Commerce, do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of WHLG Coast 101.3. Any content provided by Martin County Chamber of Commerce are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.