In the wake of rising Hepatitis A infections, the Chautauqua County Health Department strongly recommends everyone who has not completed their hepatitis A vaccine series to do so as soon as possible.
Over the past year, Chautauqua County has experienced a dramatic increase in Hepatitis A cases with more than 50 cases detected, compared to 1-2 cases in prior years. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus, but can successfully be prevented through vaccination.
The virus spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. This can happen from eating at a restaurant as well as sharing food or drink. People at risk for hepatitis A include: people with direct contact with someone who has a hepatitis A infection, people who use drugs, homeless individuals, and men who have sexual contact with men.