Health officials: Two more dead in Kentucky due to hepatitis A outbreak

Henrietta Strickland
November 3, 2018

"Last Thursday, it was officially 100 days since the most-recent case, and, for hepatitis A, that's the threshold we use that allows us to say it no longer meets the definition of an outbreak", Wooten said. "Most likely, it's because we have a smaller number of cases compared to the statewide total, according to Kevin Hall, Communications Officer for the local health department". Neither worked in the food service industry.

Primary risk factors for hepatitis A includes illicit drug use and homelessness.

"The best way to prevent hepatitis A is to get vaccinated", said Jeffrey Howard, M.D., commissioner of DPH. "The vaccine is effective and has an excellent track record. However, most adults have not yet been immunized since the vaccine was not given routinely as part of their childhood schedule of shots".

Multiple states are experiencing outbreaks of acute hepatitis A. For the current USA outbreaks among people reporting drug use and/or homelessness and their contacts, vaccination is recommended. None have died in Fayette County.

The Franklin County Health Department says two people are dead as a result of the state's ongoing hepatitis A outbreak. By mid-2017, there had already been hundreds of confirmed cases and almost a dozen deaths, sparking a public outcry and inciting health officials to declare a public health crisis.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown colored urine, and light colored stools. It could take up to seven weeks after being exposed to the virus for someone to become ill.

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