Health officials warn of spike in hepatitis A cases in Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - Health officials in Las Vegas are using the word "outbreak" to describe a sharp spike in hepatitis A cases reported mostly among homeless people and drug users.

The Southern Nevada Health District reported Wednesday that in seven months from November to June it counted 83 cases of the virus that causes liver damage and can lead to death.

That's far more than the 58 cases reported in 2016, 2017 and 2018, combined.

The district says more than 80 percent of reported patients were people without a permanent place to live and 92 percent use drugs, whether intravenous or not.

The district has begun posting weekly outbreak updates on its website.

Hepatitis A is most often transmitted through consumption of water or food contaminated with feces.

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