Philly Declares Public Health Emergency Due To Rise In Hepatitis A ! Gonnoreha & Syphillis On The Rise As Well!

State Of Emergency

Philadelphia has seen a spike in Hepatitis A, and it has become overwhelmingly alarming that the city has declared a public health emergency! According to the CDC Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. 

Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection; most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection.

Antibodies produced in response to hepatitis A infection last for life and protect against reinfection. The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.

So far in 2019, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health Division of Disease Control, has confirmed 154 reports of acute Hepatitis A. Compared to an expected 3 reports as observed between January and July from 2013 to 2017!

A vast majority of the 2019 cases of Hepatitis A in Philadelphia have occurred since May (85%), where preliminary investigations indicate high proportions among adults who report using drugs (67%), or report experiencing homelessness (26%), provided that these risk factors are expected to increase as more investigations are completed; and

New Jack City

The city can thank our on going war with heron and addiction for the rise in Hep A! Many addicts throughout the city are leaving their used needles/ syringes on the ground throughout the city. There are various videos of addicts on trains and buses with open wounds bleeding out onto their seats. As a result the unknowing public suffers the consequences!

Therefore the city has proposed clinics where addicts come, and use heron under medical supervision! Residents criticized that this promoted drug use, and wastes tax dollars. In hindsight these clinics may be what the city needs in order to reduce emergency outbreaks.

Hot Girl Summer

Hep A can also spread through sexual contact (especially oral and anal sex), contaminated water/ food and close contact! With Summer’s passing this is highly alarming! Public pools, and amusement parks are known to have water filled with fecal matter. Summer festivities are also to blame in Philadelphia’s Hep A outbreak!

On top of Hep A Philadelphia has also seen an increase in a once forgotten STI ! Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis cases increased to 2.3 million in 2017, a jump of 200,000 cases over the previous year. Syphilis was once called a “old man’s disease” , and was popular amongst old men who had sex with drug addicts. Well, now many young adults and are feeling the burn !

While the numbers overall have increased, cases among high school students have steadily declined since 2011.

Because of advances in birth control and HIV prevention — such as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, which relies on taking HIV medicines to reduce the chance of infection — some are ditching the old school practice of using condoms.

“People are moving away from using barriers, which means they’re now susceptible to other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia,” said Powers.

While the numbers overall have increased, cases among high school students have steadily declined since 2011.

Wrap It Up

As the city has stepped up its testing efforts, it has documented more new cases, said Dr. Lenore Asbel, a medical specialist with the department.

“I don’t know if there is a substantial increase as much as there is an increase in our being able to find people who are infected,” she said.

In 2017 cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea grew above their five year-highs, while syphilis has increased over the past decade with a jump in 2016.

Back then, 7 percent of students tested positive for gonorrhea or chlamydia. That rate has  dropped to 4 percent. The number of cases among female students is more than double that of male students, but they show the steepest drop. Nationally, experts said, the STD increase can be attributed to federal funding cuts to STD-prevention and control programs.

Asbel said Philadelphia has been fortunate enough to get by without relying too much on U.S. allocations.

“More funds can never hurt us, but we work hard with the money we get,” she said

How To Stay Safe

  • Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A
  • Get tested regularly . Visit here for testing sites . (Hep A and STDS)
  • Wear condoms .( Hep A and STDs)
  • Wash your hands, and don’t share food. ( Hep A)
  • Don’t share needles. (Hep A)

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