Hepatitis A outbreak in Michigan

Although many health officials are focused on the flu, Michigan is in the midst of a serious Hepatitis A outbreak, said Rebecca Burns, health officer at Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Health Agency.

The state’s case count as of Jan. 24 was 715 confirmed cases with 582 hospitalizations and 24 deaths. One case has been reported in Hillsdale.

The concern with the Michigan outbreak is with the 81 percent who are hospitalized and a 3.4 percent death rate.

According to Burns, the tri-county area is not included in the outbreak zone, but there has been a rapid rise since December.

She said poor hygiene habits are to blame.

Officials said the one Hillsdale resident identified is a young person who listed the county as his home, but was believed to be a transient in other counties with the outbreak.

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