Lansing — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has activated an emergency center to coordinate with local officials on a growing number of hepatitis cases that may be spreading beyond the southeastern corner of the state.
The department said Tuesday the center will support local health departments, hospitals, emergency medical services and other health care providers.
Since August 2016, it has received reports of 457 confirmed cases of hepatitis A, including 18 deaths, in Huron, Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. The disease attacks the liver and causes symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, fever and jaundice.
The department says it’s urging vaccinations for the highest risk individuals, including persons with a history of substance use and men who have sex with men.
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