Death related to hepatitis A outbreak is confirmed

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first death related to an ongoing outbreak of hepatitis A.

According to a news release, the death happened in October. News outlets reported Tuesday that additional details about the case are not being released.

Hepatitis A is a contagious and vaccine-preventable liver infection that can range from a mild illness that lasts a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. It's usually transmitted through water or food that has been contaminated by small, undetectable amounts of feces from a contagious person.

An average of 41 cases of hepatitis A were reported each year in North Carolina from 2013-2017, and a total of 64 cases have already been reported this year as of the end of October.

North Carolina Hepatitis A cases in 2018

Mecklenburg - 20
Wake - 3
Wayne - 3
Cabarrus - 2
Iredell - 2
Johnston - 2
Rowan - 2
Durham - 1
Gaston - 1
Watauga - 1