State Delivering Hepatitis A Vaccine Doses To Most Affected Counties

28 May, 2018, 01:30 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • Hepatitis A Outbreak hits Kentucky

Laboratory reports confirm that a 33-year-old Kanawha County resident died on Wednesday, the agency said. Because of the high incidence of drug use reported in West Virginia and among the food industry, this is a proactive measure to vaccinate a high-risk group in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Each of the counties receiving vaccine from the state has had at least four cases of hepatitis A, a contagious disease that can lead to inflammation of the liver.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus.

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There are now 106 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of the disease in West Virginia according to the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is requesting that the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department provide hepatitis A vaccination clinics for restaurant and food service employees in those counties.

In recent months, several workers at restaurants and groceries in Louisville have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, and a joint effort has been made by Public Health and Wellness and the University of Louisville's Global Health Center to reach people doing that type of work.

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Kanawha-Charleston Health Department officials reported the death Thursday.

In addition to Jefferson, the counties getting vaccine are Boyd, Bullitt, Carter, Greenup, Hardin, McCracken, Meade, Montgomery and Warren, according to the state. "We hope to have a lot more people", said John Law, public information specialist for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. Hardest hit is Jefferson County, which includes Louisville.

Hepatitis A can be prevented with a vaccine, which is recommended for children older than one year and adults living in the areas most impacted. Anyone who is unsure whether they need the vaccine should contact their local health department or medical professional. Common symptoms include: fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), and clay-colored stools.

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