Hepatitis A on rise in Colorado with nearly 300 known cases

DENVER (AP) — Almost 300 people have contracted hepatitis A in Colorado since an increase in the contagious liver disease began in 2018.

At least two of those people have died, according to the state health department.

The rise in hepatitis A is part of a nationwide increase that has sickened at least 28,600 people and killed over 280, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One Colorado death was in Denver and the other in nearby Arapahoe County. Health officials in Denver are working to curb the disease through a vaccination campaign.

Over 18,200 people in Colorado have received hepatitis A vaccinations since October 2018, according to state health officials.

Contaminated food, beverages and objects spread the virus, the Denver Post reports.

Homeless people, people with substance abuse problems and people who are incarcerated are at higher risk by having poor nutrition, living in crowded conditions or lacking preventive health care.