SEATTLE–An outbreak of Hepatitis A in the Snoqualmie Valley has county health authorities asking people to get vaccinated. Matias Valenzuela, public education coordinator with the county’s public health department, said his office has responded to six confirmed cases in the Valley, all in adults. No word yet on the source of the outbreak.
Hepatitis A is the only common vaccine-preventable foodborne disease in the United States (Fiore, 2004). It is one of five human hepatitis viruses that primarily infect the human liver and cause human illness. Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A doesn’t develop into chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, which are both potentially fatal conditions; however, infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV) can still lead to acute liver failure and death