PASCO COUNTY, Fla — The Florida Department of Health in Pasco and Winn-Dixie are teaming up to offer free hepatitis A vaccinations.
Adults can receive the hep A vaccine from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 21.
The vaccinations will take place at the Winn-Dixie on US 19 in Hudson.
Officials will also be offering offering free HIV and hepatitis C rapid testing during the vaccination event. Results will be available in 20 minutes.
Health officials say vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of hepatitis A. People who should be vaccinated for hepatitis A include:
- All children at age 1 year
- People who are experiencing homelessness
- Users of recreational drugs, whether injected or not
- Men who have sexual encounters with other men
- People with direct contact with others who have hepatitis A
- Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
- People with chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- People with clotting-factor disorders
- Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. Infected people are most contagious during a period two weeks before symptoms appear to one week afterwards.
Symptoms usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus. Not everyone will show all of the following symptoms:
- Jaundice (yellowing skin and whites of eyes)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Dark-colored urine
- Pale or clay colored stool
The best way to prevent the spread of hepatitis A is through good hand hygiene. Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom or changing diapers.
People showing signs of hepatitis A symptoms should seek medical care immediately. No medicines can cure the disease once symptoms appear.
DOH-Pasco has established a hotline for people who may have questions about hepatitis A. The number to call is 727-619-0400.