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Two Cases of Hepatitis A Identified in Detroit

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. 

Image credit: tschoppi/Flickr

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Eli Newman

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Just a small guy with big ideas. Sharing content and culture at WDET 101.9 FM.

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