Last updated: 02:10 PM ET, Tue May 19 2015

CDC Warns Travelers of Hepatitis A Outbreak in Mexico

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | May 19, 2015

CDC Warns Travelers of Hepatitis A Outbreak in Mexico

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is cautioning travelers visiting Mexico in the wake of a recent hepatitis A outbreak.

According to the CDC, as of May 1, more than two dozen cases of hepatitis A have been reported by U.S. travelers who visited Tulum, Mexico, a popular tourist destination, between Feb. 15 and March 20 of this year. As a result, the CDC is recommending that travelers headed south of the border get vaccinated for hepatitis A.

The organization also advises travelers to eat and drink safe foods and beverages as well as to practice good hygiene and cleanliness. 

The CDC defines hepatitis A as "a liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus" and states that "it can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months."

"Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts — from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces or stool of an infected person," states the CDC.

Currently, the CDC has only issued a Level 1 Watch for travel to Tulum, which means travelers should practice usual precautions. Level 2 would be an Alert, in which travelers would be advised to practice enhanced precautions. 

The highest Level 3 Warning would recommend travelers avoid nonessential travel to the affected area. 

For now, though, travelers eyeing a trip to Tulum or nearby destinations should look into getting vaccinated if they haven't been already and engage in other common sense practices when it comes to activities like eating and drinking. 

A resort city located south of Cancun and Playa del Carmen along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum is renowned for its Mayan ruin sites. 

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