Health Officials Caution Public About Hepatitis A Outbreak In Nashville

Health Officials Caution Public About Hepatitis A Outbreak In Nashville

Health Officials Caution Public About Hepatitis A Outbreak In Nashville

The virus can lead to a potentially deadly liver infection. It is usually transmitted person-to-person or by consuming contaminated food or water.

However, in rare cases, KCHD officials say the disease can cause liver failure and death.

The clinics were organized as numbers of confirmed cases of Hepatitis A continued to climb in southwestern West Virginia.

Kentucky health officials say counties hardest hit by a hepatitis A outbreak will receive another round of vaccines to protect people from the contagious disease. The cases are in eight different counties.

On Wednesday health officials urged hepatitis A vaccinations for restaurant and food service employees in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

The state averages fewer than 20 cases a year. Those counties include Boyd, Bullitt, Carter, Greenup, Hardin, Jefferson, McCracken, Meade, Montgomery and Warren.

In Louisville, the vaccine from the state will be used to continue targeting high-risk people, such as people who are homeless, use recreational drugs or are men who have sex with men, Turner said.

Statewide, there have been 106 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Hepatitis A. The illness caused by this virus can be prevented with a vaccination, of either the hepatitis A or immune globulin shot. Since 2006, the CDC has recommended all young children routinely be vaccinated against hepatitis A; the vaccine has been required for daycare and kindergarten entry in Tennessee since 2011.

Large hepatitis A outbreaks have been occurring since early 2017 in several other states, including ongoing outbreaks in Kentucky and in, spreading from person to person primarily among people who are homeless and people who use drugs.

Members of the general public should seek out the vaccine from their health care provider or other community provider, such as a pharmacy or clinic that offers it. "Call your insurance company to make sure you go exactly where they want you to go", said Turner, adding, "There's no shortage" of vaccine. Symptoms of hepatitis A include lethargy, yellowing skin and eyes (jaundice), clay colored stools, dark urine, joint paint, and loss of appetite.

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