ST. PAUL (KMHL/LEARFIELD) – Minnesota health officials are warning about a Hepatitis-A outbreak in Minnesota.

The oubreak includes 23 cases in nine counties: Pine (5), Hennepin (3), Kanabec (3), Mille Lacs (3), St. Louis (3), Washington (3), Chisago (1), Dakota (1) and Kandiyohi (1).

Health officials say that 13 cases have resulted in the patient being hospitalized – all have been discharged.

“The hepatitis-A virus is found in the stool or poop of a person who has hepatitis-A and so if there is not good hand washing that type of thing they can become infected with hepatitis-A and it can be spread that way,” said the department of health’s Kris Ehresmann.

Ehresmann says the outbreak involves three high-risk groups; people who use street drugs, people who are experiencing homelessness or unstable housing or have been recently incarcerated.

She says your best protection against the virus is getting vaccinated.