There are now six confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in Edgar County, Illinois

The Edgar County Health Department confirmed there are now six cases of Hepatitis A reported in the county. The virus is spread by human contact with those that have the illness. Folks in Paris said they're now considering getting the vaccination to keep themselves protected.

Posted: Jan. 16, 2019 6:31 PM

PARIS, Ill. (WTHI)- Edgar County, Illinois health officials said the county is facing a Hepatitis A outbreak.

The Health Department has confirmed six cases since January 1st.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus that can cause damage to the liver.

Like most viruses, it's spread through human contact with someone else who has the virus.

Vivan Delashmit lives in Paris.

She hasn't been vaccinated for the virus yet, but with the number of outbreaks growing it's something she said she'll consider.

Delashmit and her husband have been coming to Main Street Cafe for more than 13 years.

She said she's afraid by being out around others, she could catch the virus.

"We like to eat out once in a while and it's a possibility that you could run into it, and I want to be protected," said Delashmit.

Delashmit's husband works at the Edgar County Health Department.

Being exposed to all of these other people have her worried.

"I'm considering taking the shot myself. If there are six cases in Edgar County already, that's kind of scary," said Delashmit.

The vaccine is not required but strongly encouraged by health officials.

Jean McConkey works at the Edgar County Health Department.

She said the virus has similar symptoms to the flu.

"Because it's very similar to the flu, often times people don't realize they're having a Hepatitis A outbreak and then they don't go to the doctor very quickly, so then they're spreading it to those they're around," said McConkey.

McConkey said that's part of the reason the number of outbreaks is growing.

People don't know they've caught the virus and are contagious for two weeks before they see symptoms, and that's why it's important to take preventative measures.

"I'd rather be safe than sorry," said Delashmit.

McConkey said to make sure you're constantly washing your hands, and if you haven't already, consider getting the Hepatitis A vaccine.

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