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Health Clinics Offer Hepatitis A Vaccines in Effort to Halt Outbreak in N.H.

In an effort to halt an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak, health clinics in Manchester, Nashua, Somersworth, and Concord are offering free vaccines to people without health insurance.

Hepatitis A is transmitted by ingesting small undetected amounts of feces from someone who is infected. Communities at high-risk for the disease include people who are homeless, people using recreational drugs, and men who have sex with other men.

The number of hepatitis A cases in New Hampshire this year is already more than 10 times higher than normal levels. One person has died.

Phillip Alexakos with the Manchester health department says his agency has launched a number of efforts to respond to the outbreak including a public awareness campaign, 16 temporary vaccination clinics around the city, and a food safety training for hundreds of restaurant workers.

“It's not something that's just going to run its course like seasonal influenza.

Hepatitis A is something that is shown to be a longer duration situation.”

Officials are urging anyone at high-risk of getting the disease to get vaccinated through their primary care doctor. For people who don't have insurance, clinics in Manchester, Nashua, Somersworth, and Concord are offering vaccines at no cost.

Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver disease.

Public health officials in Manchester and Nashua each say they have already vaccinated hundreds at-risk adults.

New Hampshire is one of 18 states experiencing currently experiencing an outbreak of the disease.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.
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