PUEBLO, Colo. - Pueblo County has seen a sharp increase in Hepatitis A cases in 2017, and health officials are saying it is a statewide problem.
Our partners at the Pueblo Chieftain report that the county has seen more confirmed cases of viral liver disease this year than it had in the previous four years combined.
The Colorado Department of Health and Environment released a report this month that states Colorado had already seen 43 confirmed cases in 2017.
"There is an outbreak going on in the state of Colorado," Kathy Nelson, Pueblo City-County Health Department program manager, told the Chieftain. "So far this year in 2017, we've had seven confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in Pueblo and normally we don't have that amount."
El Paso County has confirmed 10 cases of Hepatitis A, according to the Chieftain.
Info on Hepatitis A from CDC
Hepatitis A is contracted when a person consumes infected fecal matter, often by ingesting food or drinks contaminated with stool from an infected person.
Many people with hepatitis do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. If symptoms occur with an acute infection, they can appear anytime from 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure. Symptoms of chronic viral hepatitis can take decades to develop.
Symptoms of hepatitis can include: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice.
If you feel like you have any of these symptoms, contact your local physician.