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Maine CDC Reports Significant Rise In Number Of Hepatitis A Cases

Cases of Hepatitis A rose sharply last year in Maine, according to the state Center for Disease Control.

There were 45 cases total, up from just 9 the year before. Most were in Kennebec, Aroostoook, and York County.

A quarter of the cases were linked to food service workers who had contracted the virus. Another quarter of the cases, the agency says, involved risk factors such as injection drug use or housing insecurity.

Outbreaks of Hepatitis A have also been reported throughout the United States, including New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The liver infection can cause fever, joint pain, jaundice and even death. The best way to prevent infection, the CDC says, is thorough immunization and washing hands before preparing food and after using the bathroom.