Hepatitis A cases linked to Santa Clara County jails

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Two cases of Hepatitis A have been reported to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department-and they may be associated with local jails. One patient is an inmate and one is a staff member. (KGO-TV)

Two cases of Hepatitis A have been reported to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and they may be associated with local jails.

One patient is an inmate and one is a staff member.

Public Health says it's not known if the cases are related or if the disease was contracted inside a jail.

But, to prevent any more infections Public Health is offering vaccinations to all inmates and employees at the Main Jail and Elmwood Correctional Facility.

County Health Officer, Dr. Sara Cody, said they mounted a rapid response because there are ongoing outbreaks in Santa Cruz and San Diego Counties. She said those cases are among people who are homeless or formerly incarcerated and Santa Clara County wants to prevent additional infections and spread.

Dr. Cody said there is no increased risk to the public.

Assistant Sheriff of the Custody Bureau, Troy Beliveau, said employees are not required to get the Hepatitis A vaccine, but they are encouraged to do so. He said they are also provided with biohazard suits, rubber gloves, and disinfectant.

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver. It's spread through stool.

The main ways to prevent it are the vaccine and careful handwashing.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include belly pain, fever, and nausea. It can progress to jaundice.

But, it does not stay in a person's system as a chronic infection. And, once a person is infected they have lifelong immunity.

Typically, Santa Clara County sees ten cases of Hepatitis A each year.

Click here for more information on how to protect yourself against Hepatitis A.

Related Topics:
healthjailhepatitishealth carewarninginmatessheriffmedicalsanta clara countySanta Clara
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