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25 counties receive $20K from MDHHS to combat hepatitis A outbreak

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued $500,000 in grant money to 25 health departments across the state in an effort to stop the spread of hepatitis A that has been plaguing the state since August 2016.

Since then, there have been 789 cases, 635 hospitalizations and 25 deaths related to the outbreak of the highly contagious liver infection, making Michigan’s outbreak the deadliest of several occurring nationwide.

Last month, MDHHS reported an apparent turning point in the outbreak, with fewer cases reported on a weekly basis and no signal of a future uptick.  

“Increasing vaccination outreach to high-risk populations across the state is essential to stopping the spread of hepatitis A in Michigan” Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive said in a statement Monday morning.

The MDHHS grant money comes from $7.1 million appropriated by the Michigan legislature in 2017 to deal with the hepatitis A. Twenty health departments affected by the outbreak have already won $2.5 million of that appropriation to staff and conduct educational and vaccination services.

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