Local News

Two more cases of hepatitis B confirmed

Posted October 27, 2010 3:32 p.m. EDT

— State health officials on Wednesday confirmed two new cases of hepatitis B at a Wayne County assisted living facility, bringing the number of cases since August to seven.

Four residents at Glen Care of Mount Olive – ranging from 63 to 83 years old – have died from the virus, prompting public health officials to label the cases at the center as an outbreak.

It’s unclear the conditions of the patients of the latest confirmed cases.

Investigators have not determined a cause for the outbreak, but they say one possible mode of transmission could be through infected medical equipment.

Glen Care officials have declined to comment, but the company issued a statement last week, saying that it was working with Wayne County and state public health officials to find the cause.

All residents in the facility were tested for hepatitis B last week, health officials said, and Glen Care is offering free vaccination shots to those who are not immune to the virus.

Hepatitis B is a contagious virus that can cause severe liver problems, and it is typically transmitted by exposure to blood or body fluids. Symptoms include fever, extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, dark urine and yellowish skin.