YAKIMA — The first death linked to the current hepatitis A outbreak in Yakima County was confirmed as of Feb. 5 by the Yakima Health District officials.

The adult patient was a Yakima County resident who was associated with the homeless and/or illicit drug using community.

The county health district has confirmed a total of 35 cases of hepatitis A in Yakima County reported Dr. Teresa Everson, Yakima Health District’s health officer, in a department release issued Wednesday.

Most cases have occurred in people who are homeless and/or using illicit drugs. “Unfortunately, homeless and/or illicit drug users are the most vulnerable to hepatitis A infection as they are often in poorer health conditions than the general population,” Dr. Everson explained. “As a result, when they become sick from hepatitis A, they are more likely to be hospitalized or die from the infection.”

“Hepatitis A is preventable through vaccination and proper hygiene. We encourage the public to talk with their personal physician,” said Dr. Everson.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.