Health NewsUpdated Nov 08, 2019;Posted Nov 08, 2019 Oswego residents are being urged to wash their hands to stop the spread of hepatitis A.OSWEGO, N.Y. – Oswego residents are being urged to wash their hands and not share drinking cups because of a growing outbreak of the highly contagious hepatitis A virus.Since June there have been 53 confirmed cases of the liver infection in Oswego County.The county health department said most of the cases have occurred among at-risk populations such as men who have sex with men, drug users and people who are homeless. People also can get hepatitis A from contaminated food or water, or from close contact with an infected person.“I ask residents to be diligent about practicing good personal hygiene,” Jiancheng Huang, the county’s public health director, said in a prepared statement. “Simple practices like proper hand washing and not sharing utensils or drinking cups, will significantly reduce the risk of getting the virus.”Hepatitis A can make people mildly sick for a few weeks or severely ill for several months, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many people with the virus have no symptoms.Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark‐colored urine, clay‐colored stools, joint pain, or jaundice.There is a vaccine that prevents hepatitis A. The health department said anyone who has been exposed to someone with hepatitis A should get vaccinated as soon as possible.Anyone experiencing symptoms or has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with the virus should contact their health care provider or the Oswego health department at 315-349-3547.Camillus Hepatitis A scare: Worker did everyone a favor by keeping hands cleanThanks for visiting Syracuse.com. Quality local journalism has never been more important, and your subscription matters. Not a subscriber yet? Please consider supporting our work.