A Yakima resident is the first person to die of the current hepatitis A outbreak in Yakima County. The unidentified adult was a part of the local homeless population.
Currently 35 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Yakima County. In a news release from the Yakima Health District health officer Dr. Teresa Everson says hepatitis A is preventable through vaccination and hygiene.
The release says "It is usually transmitted person-to-person when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from touching objects or consuming food contaminated with stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also be spread from close, personal contact with an infected person. After someone has been exposed to hepatitis A, symptoms may begin to develop two to six weeks after infection.
Since the outbreak was declared in November 2019, the Yakima Health District has partnered with multiple community partners to provide over 400 hepatitis A vaccinations to the homeless and drug using community."