State Delivering Hepatitis A Vaccine Doses To Most Affected Counties

28 May, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Hepatitis A Outbreak hits Kentucky

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources says that the person was a 33-year-old man with significant comorbidities that contributed to the death.

The health department will begin administering free Hepatitis A vaccines on May 29 at all three health centers to three at-risk groups: illicit drug users, men who have sex with men, and homeless people. In rare cases, however, health officials say the disease can cause liver failure and death.

Officials say 629 hepatitis A cases have been reported statewide since August 1, 2017.

Dr. Jeffrey Howard, Acting Commissioner of the state Department for Public Health, says Kentucky averages 20 cases of Hepatitis A a year, but the commonwealth has seen more than 600 cases since the outbreak started in the fall of 2017.

Most of Kentucky's cases have occurred in Jefferson County, which has had almost 400 cases despite efforts by Public Health and Wellness and its community partners to vaccinate thousands of people in the community.

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In light of the recent, large-scale Hepatitis A exposure in the San Francisco Bay Area, food safety attorneys of the Seattle-based law firm of Marler Clark, are asking restaurants and food manufacturers to voluntarily vaccinate all workers against Hepatitis A.

The hepatitis A virus is very contagious, and is easily passed from person to person through contaminated food and drink, through contact, and through contact with contaminated surfaces.

Cabell sits at 14 cases, and Boone, Jackson, Lincoln, Wayne and Wyoming counties having fewer than five cases each. This is more common in people older than 50 and in people with other liver diseases.

The health department news release said all Kentucky students in kindergarten through 12th grade, beginning July 1, must receive two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine to attend school, or a provisional certificate of immunization unless a parent claims an exemption.

And they are urging Warren Countians to get the vaccine. Symptoms of Hepatitis A include weakness, abdominal pain, jaundice, and dark urine.

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