The Grapevine

Hepatitis A Death: Denver Resident Reportedly Dies Amid Outbreak In Colorado

A resident in Denver has reportedly died from Hepatitis A. The outbreak of the disease began in 2018.

The identity of the victim has not been revealed but according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the person manifested the same risk factors that other had in the outbreak.

More than 160 cases of Hepatitis A was reported in Colorado, with 120 people hospitalized since October 2018.

People attacked by the outbreak possibly have less access to preventive health care, poorer nutrition, greater health risks and crowded living conditions according to the CDPHE.

“Deaths from hepatitis A are rare, but they can occur, especially when people who have other medical conditions get the disease,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state communicable disease epidemiologist, said.

She added that the unfortunate incident reminds of the local public health agencies’ critical work of continuing to vaccinate at-risk populations.

“This outbreak is not over,” Dr. Herlihy said.

Hepatitis A is communicable disease caused by hepatitis A virus, primarily affecting the liver. It is spread from person to person via the fecal-oral route or when contaminated food or water is ingested, as per CDC.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A vary with age. Older children and adults manifest fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, diarrhea, clay-colored stools, joint pain and jaundice.

Children younger than six years old don't usually present symptoms of Hepatitis A, but when they do, they don't have jaundice.

These symptoms typically start appearing 4 weeks following exposure and can also occur as early as two weeks or as late as seven weeks after being exposed to the disease.

People infected with hepatitis A can exhibit the symptoms for as long as six months but usually only last less than two months.

The disease is highly preventable with hepatitis A vaccination or an injection of immunoglobulin. However, the vaccine or injection are only beneficial if taken within the first 2 weeks following exposure.

Also, if you suspect that you have contracted the disease, speak with your health care provider or state health agency. Only a health professional can tell you what is the best course to take based on your overall health status.

Hepatitis C virus Hepatitis C virus CDC