3 new Hepatitis A cases reported in Genesee Co.

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Genesee County officials said Wednesday three new cases of Hepatitis A were reported last month.

A total of five Hepatitis A cases have been reported in the county this year, the Genesee County Health Department said. 

Genesse County Health Department logo

Danielle Steplowski, an epidemiologist with the health department, said the three latest cases are unrelated to each other and were reported in October. 

The cases do not stem from visits to restaurants that had infected employees, she said.

Since Aug. 1, 2016, there have been more than 495 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A reported in the state, according to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. Cases have been confirmed in Detroit, Macomb, Wayne, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, Monroe, Ingham, Livingston, Sanilac, Lapeer, Calhoun, Clare, Isabella, Hillsdale, and Huron counties.

"Genesee County isn't considered part of the Michigan outbreak because you have to have at least two reported cases of the strain that are related to the state's outbreak," Steplowski said.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is caused by a virus. The disease can range from a mild illness to a severe sickness that can last several months. Symptoms can appear similar to the flu as well as yellow-colored eyes and skin as well as dark urine.

A person can get the virus by eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water, or by having sex with someone who has been infected or by living with an infected person. 

Earlier this month, state officials activated two emergency response centers to coordinate the response to the outbreak.