Florida Declares Public Health Emergency Due To Hepatitis A Outbreak

Florida Hepatitis A cases by county 2019.

The State of Florida Department of Health issued a Declaration of Public Health Emergency due to a spreading Hepatitis A outbreak that is a threat to public health.

Homelessness and drug-use are the highest risk factors for contracting and spreading Hepatitis A.

In the Emergency Declaration, the Florida Surgeon General is advising “all public and private entities with restrooms and shower/bathing facilities used by the public to sanitize surfaces in restrooms and shower/bathing areas, at least once per day with a solution of one and two-thirds cups of chlorine bleach per gallon of water.”

The City of Cocoa Beach operates several parks with restrooms and showers that are frequented by residents, visitors, and the homeless.

Public Showers Shepard Park Cocoa Beach, Florida
The City of Cocoa Beach operates several parks with restrooms that are frequented by residents, visitors, and the homeless. Starting today, the City of Cocoa Beach will wash all public showers and restrooms with the high concentration bleach water on a daily basis as advised by the Florida Declaration of Public Health Emergency to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A.

“Starting today, the City of Cocoa Beach will begin cleaning all of the city’s public bathrooms and showers with the chlorine and water mixture on a daily basis as recommended by the Florida Surgeon General,” said Cocoa Beach City Manager Jim McKnight.

Public restrooms at Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Public restrooms at Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

The Surgeon General also advises the public to get vaccinated and practice good hand-washing in order to prevent contracting and spreading Hepatitis A.

Groups Most At Risk In Critically Impacted Counties

People over 60 with an underlying health condition

First Responders and medical health professional

Florida Hepatitis A Cases 2019

Florida Hepatitis Cases By Year

As of July 27, 2019, there have been 2,582 reported cases of Hepatitis A in Florida.

Over half of those 2019 cases occurred in just 10 counties: Pasco 358, Pinellas 328, Volusia 179, Hillsborough 115, Marion 109, Hernando 93, Lake 91, Manatee 88, Brevard 64, and Lee 43.