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Sean Patterson, ARP Sciences, LLC, quality management section DNA analyst, checks expiration dates on reagents in the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System – Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. AFDIL recently underwent a quality assessment where they received zero findings of nonconformance for the first time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

OLYMPIA - Something to consider the next time you venture to Spokane, there’s a reported hepatitis outbreak in the area. On Friday, the Washington State Department of Health reported a hepatitis A outbreak in Spokane, Pend Oreille, Snohomish and King counties. Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver. Symptoms of hep A include dark urine, clay-colored stools) and jaundice (yellowed eyes). The virus can be spread by contact with people who are infected or through food, beverages, ice and objects contaminated by unwashed hands. The virus is also more easily spread in areas where sanitary conditions are poor. The outbreak is primarily affecting those who are living homeless or who use drugs. Contact your healthcare provider if you’re interested in being vaccinated against hep A.

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