Erie County Health Department Confirms Case Of Hepatitis A Involving Homeless Man, The Impact On Buffalo City Mission

Modified: February 8, 2018 3:15pm

Latest News

For press releases from other years, please click on one of the following links:

Date: 
2/8/18

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein and members of Erie County’s departments of Health and Emergency Services announced today that the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in an individual who is homeless and was recently hospitalized at a local healthcare facility.

After confirming the case on February 7th and conducting an interview with the patient and their healthcare provider, the Department of Health determined there was a significant possibility of exposure to other homeless individuals and staff at the Buffalo City Mission, as well as among individuals who were on the streets between the dates of January 16, 2018 and January 23, 2018.

To protect the homeless population and prevent the spread of this disease, Erie County will host a post-exposure prophylaxis clinic tomorrow (Friday, February 9) at the Buffalo City Mission, located at 100 E. Tupper St. Buffalo NY 14203. The clinic will run from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Hepatitis A is a serious infection,” says Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “We have seen Hepatitis A rapidly move through the homeless population in other parts of the United States. It is important that affected individuals who may have been exposed attend this free prophylaxis clinic. Anyone who spent time at the Buffalo City Mission between the dates of January 24, 2018 and February 4, 2018 should attend this clinic.”

Hepatitis A immunization provided after an exposure can often prevent illness from occurring, but only if it is provided within two weeks since the last exposure.

 

PERSONS WHO VISITED OR STAYED AT BUFFALO CITY MISSION

--ONLY ON THE DATES BELOW--

ARE CANDIDATES FOR HEPATITIS A VACCINE OR IMMUNE GLOBULIN

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 24, 2018

THURSDAY JANUARY 25, 2018

FRIDAY JANUARY 26, 2018

SATURDAY JANUARY 27, 2018

SUNDAY JANUARY 28, 2018

MONDAY JANUARY 29, 2018

TUESDAY JANUARY 30, 2018

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 31, 2018

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2018

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 2, 2018

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 3, 2018

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 4, 2018

 

The Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin is only effective within two weeks of exposure to the virus. Patrons who visited or stayed at the Buffalo City Mission on or during the above mentioned dates should receive the hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin as soon as possible.

Anyone who was living on the street or was in contact with homeless individuals, especially on the West Side neighborhood of the City of Buffalo may have also been exposed between January 16, 2018 and January 23, 2018. These individuals will not benefit from PEP and are advised to monitor their personal health for classic signs of Hepatitis A, which includes yellow skin and eyes, dark urine or light stools. If they find that they have any of these symptoms they are to call (716) 858-2929.

 

POINT OF DISTRIBUTION CLINICS

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2018 7:00 AM– 9:00 AM; 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

BUFFALO CITY MISSION

100 EAST TUPPER ST. BUFFALO, NY 14203

 

PEP refers to trying to prevent or treat a disease after someone is exposed. Depending upon an individual’s age and health status, PEP with either hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin is indicated. Hepatitis A vaccine is administered via an injection in the arm and immune globulin is generally administered into a large muscle mass such as the upper leg or hip area.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. Hepatitis A appears only as an acute or a newly occurring infection and does not become a chronic disease. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter – even in microscopic amounts – from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces, or stool, of an infected person. It can be spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the virus.

Hepatitis A signs and symptoms typically do not appear until the individual has had the virus for a few weeks. These symptoms can be similar to those of a “flu-like” illness and may include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, abdominal pain or discomfort, dark urine, joint pain, clay-colored bowel movements, and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).

 

For more information:

Erie County Department of Health: www.erie.gov/health or call (716) 858-2929

New York State Department of Health: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/hepatitis/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/aFAQ.htm

Vaccine Information Sheet: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hep-a.html

Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-a/basics/definit...