Should New Jersey residents be alarmed by the Hep A outbreak?

The state Department of Health says the outbreak of Hepatitis A seems to be leveling off, but a recent case in Somerville, involving a ShopRite deli worker who contracted the highly contagious liver disease, has residents concerned. On Friday, for the third day in a row, dozens of people lined up for free vaccines. And they have questions.

NJTV News anchor Mary Alice Williams discussed the outbreak with Dr. Su Wang, president-elect of the World Hepatitis Alliance and medical director of Viral Hepatitis Programs at Barnabas Health Medical Group. She explained what residents should do if they think they’ve been exposed, potential symptoms of the disease and why the virus is especially prevalent in adults.

“It is an epidemic. We’re definitely seeing higher cases of Hepatitis A than we would expect,” said Wang. “Here in New Jersey we’re seeing a spike and nationally that’s happening as well, in certain populations. The proper response, which is what they were doing, is ramping up the vaccine response. That people should be screened and get vaccinated.”


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