Officials are alerting the public after a man who was in the Shiawassee County Jail was later diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian Begole said a man who was recently released from the jail went to the hospital three days later and it was determined he had Hepatitis A.

Police don’t know if the man contracted the illness while in the jail, but wanted to alert others as a precaution.

Begole said his office contacted any inmates who may have shared a cell with the man.

“We’re doing a public warning just in case,” Begole said. “There have been no other reported cases.”

The 31-year-old inmate was in the Shiawassee County Jail from May 29 until June 18, officials said.

Begole said his office has been aware of the recent uptick nationally in Hepatitis A cases and have thoroughly cleaned the jail.

He also said there have been more than 70 inmates who have received the Hepatitis A vaccine, along with all the jail staff and individuals who do food preparation.

“I think we were working pretty hard to prevent something like this,” Begole said. “We released this as soon as we knew about it.”

Officials confirmed the former inmate had Hepatitis A on Friday and sent out a notification to the public the same day.

“They have up to 14 days if they were exposed,” to Hepatitis A to get vaccinated, he said.

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. The virus is most commonly spread from person to person by unclean hands contaminated with feces.

The infection comes with symptoms that may include sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, and/or vomiting often followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Symptoms may appear from 14-50 days after exposure, with an average of about one month.

Any residents that believe they may have been exposed to Hepatitis A can reduce the risk by performing the following actions:

  • Getting the vaccine (within 14 days of potential exposure)
  • Washing their hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers and before preparing and eating food.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces areas — with particular care to areas including toilets, sinks, trash, door knobs and faucet handles — especially while someone in the household or workplace has symptoms.
  • Do not prepare food if you have symptoms, and refrain from food preparation for at least three days after symptoms have ended.

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