The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first death related to an ongoing outbreak of hepatitis A affecting parts of North Carolina. App users click here.
Health officials said the death occurred in October, but would not provide additional details about the case. FOX 46 has confirmed that this case is separate from those related to the Hardee's incident in Charlotte.
Hepatitis A is a contagious and vaccine-preventable liver infection that can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months, according to the NCDHHS. It is usually transmitted through food or water that has been contaminated with small, undetectable amounts of feces from a contagious person.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and stomach pain. Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or eyes), dark-colored urine and clay-colored bowel movements may also occur. These symptoms can appear within 15-50 days (average 28 days) following infection with the virus.
For more information about viral hepatitis, visit https://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/hepatitis/related.html. The CDC has more information about outbreaks of hepatitis A in multiple states on its website.