Health officials are trying to stop the spread of Hepatitis A in Michigan.

ABC 12 reports that the State Emergency Operations Center has been activated in response to a Hepatitis A outbreak in Southeast and Mid-Michigan.

Since August 2016, 457 cases have been confirmed, with 18 deaths associated with the outbreak.

Cases have been reported in Huron, Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties.

According to The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Hepatitis A is a serious, highly contagious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). It's spread by contaminated food or water, or by person to person contact.

Here are tips from MDHHS on how to protect yourself:

  • Get vaccinated against hepatitis A
  • Wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating or preparing meals
  • Use your own towels, toothbrushes, and eating utensils
  • Do not have sex with someone who has HAV infection
  • Do not share food, drinks, drugs, or cigarettes with other people
  • If you think you may have hepatitis A, see your medical provider