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Heard on Morning Edition

Two Cases of Hepatitis A Identified in Detroit

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Image credit: tschoppi/Flickr

The Detroit Health Department is offering vaccinations against Hepatitis A after two men tested positive for the virus.

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Executive Director and Health Officer at the Detroit Health Department Dr. Abdul El-Sayed (center) and Detroit Health Department Medical Director Dr. Joneigh Khaldun (right)Eli Newman / WDET
Eli Newman / WDET

Executive Director and Health Officer at the Detroit Health Department Dr. Abdul El-Sayed (center) and Detroit Health Department Medical Director Dr. Joneigh Khaldun (right)

The city of Detroit has identified two cases of Hepatitis A in southeast Detroit. The men had come into contact with raw sewage in flooded basements. Health officials say the men who contracted the disease in the Jefferson-Chalmers area have been released from hospitals and are expected to fully recover. According to Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the Executive Director and Health Officer at the Detroit Health Department, the virus is an infectious liver disease transmitted by contact with fecal matter and clears up 99 percent of the time it’s treated, but its symptoms can last from two to six months.

Folks will have abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever and because of its role in the processing of certain proteins, sometimes they’ll also have dark urine, which is uncommon, and then the skin or the eyes will also become yellowish. Anybody who has those symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed​, Executive Director and Health Officer at the Detroit Health Department

We recommend that for those who have made contact with raw sewage to talk to their primary care physician or to come to one of our clinics over the next week,” El-Sayed said. And for those who have not, there’s really nothing to worry about.” El-Sayed said residents who may have been exposed to Hepatitis A should wash their hands and discard any items that may have been in contact with raw sewage. Residents who have raw sewage in their basements from flooding can call the city for inspections. 


Eli Newman, Reporter/Producer

Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.

eli.newman@wdet.org Follow @other_eli

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