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Michigan Ag News Headlines
Hep A Mobile Vaccination Clinics Offered
Michigan Ag Connection - 02/08/2018

To help combat Michigan's hepatitis A outbreak, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering six mobile vaccination clinics at Southeast Michigan bars and nightclubs popular with men who have sex with men (MSM) throughout February.

MSM have been identified as a group at high risk of contracting hepatitis A. Michigan's hepatitis A outbreak began in August 2016, and there have been 727 cases to date and 24 deaths. Of those, 14.3 percent involve MSM.

"Making it convenient for this high-risk group to get vaccinated is another proactive effort by the state and our local partners to stop the spread of this highly contagious disease," said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with MDHHS. "The hepatitis A vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in protecting someone who may be exposed to the disease. We appreciate the willingness of these venues to provide their locations to conduct vaccination clinics and help stop the spread of hepatitis A."

Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for MSM by the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Despite this guidance, hepatitis A vaccination coverage among MSM in the United States remains low leaving many adult men unprotected.

Hepatitis A vaccine will be available to patrons 19 years and older at the following venue-based clinics:

- Feb. 11, 9 p.m. -- 12 a.m. -- Adam's Apple, 18931 West Warren, Detroit

- Feb. 14, 7 -- 11 p.m. -- Menjo's, 928 West McNichols Road, Detroit

- Feb. 24, 10 p.m. -- 1 a.m. -- Hayloft, 8070 Greenfield, Detroit

- Feb. 26, 10 p.m. -- 1 a.m. -- GiGis, 16920 West Warren, Detroit

- Feb. 28, 8 -- 11 p.m. -- Soho, 205 West 9 Mile Road, Ferndale

Hepatitis A is a serious, highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the feces (poop) of people with hepatitis A and spread by eating contaminated food or water, during sex or by living with an infected person.

Illegal drug users, those who are homeless or in transient living situations, recently incarcerated individuals and people with underlying liver disease are also at higher risk of contracting the disease.

Hepatitis A symptoms can include:

- Nausea and vomiting

- Belly pain

- Feeling tired

- Fever

- Loss of appetite

- Yellowing of the skin and eyes

- Dark urine

- Pale-colored feces (poop)

- Joint pain

Getting vaccinated, practicing good hand washing and avoiding sex with infected partners are ways to prevent getting infected. The Hepatitis A vaccine is available at local pharmacies, through healthcare providers and at local health departments.

For more information about hepatitis A, vaccination locations and the Michigan outbreak, visit Michigan.gov/hepatitisAoutbreak.

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