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Hepatitis A cases still increasing in Louisiana

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Posted at 12:54 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 13:54:27-04

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Data from the Louisiana Department of Health shows cases of Hepatitis A have been continuing to increase across the state.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports the number of reported cases since the outbreak began in January 2018 through July 18, 2019, is 375.

Louisiana Bureau of Community Preparedness Medical Director Frank Welch says the outbreak is mostly affecting drug users and homeless people.

Welch says the infection has been making people sicker than normal. About 60% of infected people were hospitalized whereas the typical hospitalization rate is around 25%.

The state bought 15,000 Hepatitis A vaccinations to limit the outbreak among homeless populations and have distributed about 8,000.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection that's often spread when people use the bathroom and then don't wash their hands.