Hepatitis A sees increase in Virginia cases

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia is beginning to see a number of cases of Hepatitis A. The commonwealth has reported a 132% increase in cases between January 1 and April 19th compared to that same time period last year, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

A local doctor says we are seeing cases in those that use drugs in our homeless population and the prison system--populations that have never been considered at risk for Hepatitis A.

He says this disease is preventable using vaccines.

"The things you should do everyday are wash your hands, very good hand washing, and the other one, this virus, because it can be passed in foods, you need to make sure that your food is cooked," Thomas Kerkering, Chief of Infectious Disease Division at Carilion Clinic, said.

Hepatitis A is spread by transmission through unclean water and food.