Local and Community News
Wyoming: Feds Send Help to Probe Casper Hepatitis Outbreak
June 25, 2003
An expert from CDC is expected to arrive Wednesday in Casper, Wyo., to assist state and local officials in their investigation of a hepatitis outbreak that has sickened nearly 60 people since February. Of the 57 Casper residents who have contracted hepatitis B, hepatitis C or both, eight have been hospitalized, said Casper-Natrona County Health Director Bob Harrington. The patients are ages 18 to 54; 56 percent are men.Adapted from:
Indirect sharing of drug paraphernalia during the use of methamphetamine or other drugs, together with sexual contact, appear to be associated with transmission in some cases, Harrington said.
Hepatitis symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, abdominal and joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Most people with the infection show no signs but are still capable of spreading the disease.
At-risk persons include those with multiple sex partners, the sex partners of infected persons, and injection drug users -- including those who used drugs briefly many years ago.
"People should know that hepatitis B is a very serious illness, but that it is easily preventable by vaccination," said Dr. David Souvenir, an infectious disease specialist and Casper-Natrona County health officer.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.