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Harford man sickened by hepatitis A infection

Maryland health officials confirmed a case of hepatitis A has been reported in Harford County but say it is not linked to other cases in the state.

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a viral infection, and the A virus is spread when people eat contaminated food or touch their face when the virus is on their hand. Unlike cases of the more common hepatitis C, hepatitis A infections normally resolve on their own and effects are not typically serious or chronic, though the family of the infected Bel Air man said he has been hospitalized.

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Symptoms of the virus include fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain and low-grade fever. It usually clears up on its own in one or two months.

A vaccine for hepatitis A is not required of schoolchildren in Maryland, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends it for anyone age 1 or older, at increased risk for infection or complication or who wants protection. Frequent hand washing is recommended to prevent infections from viruses generally.

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There have been 18 hepatitis A cases reported statewide so far in 2019 and there were 52 cases in 2018, according to state health data.

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