Chicago (CBS) — The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a hepatitis A outbreak with 44 confirmed cases across the state.
The majority of cases are among individuals at high risk for infection–including men who have sex with men, homeless individuals and/or those who use drugs.
The individuals infected range in age from 20 to 63 years old with an average age of 38.
Of those infected, 68 percent are male; 62 percent reported illicit drug use and 33 percent identified themselves as men who have sex with men.
Edgar County in central Illinois reported 13 of the 44 cases. Cook County reported seven.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease that spreads through food, water, drug use and sex.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is offering free hepatitis A vaccines to at risk individuals.
More information is available on IDPH’s website.