Death suspected from West Virginia hepatitis A outbreak

28 May, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • The state held a Facebook Live discussion on hepatitis A earlier this week

According to press reports, McDonald's is working with the health department to prevent any new cases from arising in the community as a result of this case.

Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, and the A variant is a highly contagious infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR's Bureau for Public Health said in a statement, "I am issuing a strong recommendation to all Kanawha and Putnam County food service vendors and restaurants to have their employees vaccinated for hepatitis A, since national data indicate that drug use among the food service industry is about 19.1 percent".

To help aid the Hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky, officials with the Kentucky Department of Public Health announced on Thursday that they will be giving out 10,000 vaccinations to 10 counties hit with the disease. The outbreak in Kentucky is genetically linked to other hepatitis A outbreaks in California, Utah and MI, she said. The disease is typically spread when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or beverages contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from a person who's infected. Three vaccinations clinics are scheduled over the next week in Charleston.

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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.

The state averages fewer than 20 cases a year. One will be held May 25, 2018 at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Ray said hepatitis A isn't a chronic disease, but its symptoms can include weeks of fatigue and potentially fatal liver failure.

Each of the counties will receive 1,000 doses of vaccine to help protect people against the outbreak that has led to at least 629 cases statewide since last fall, the department said.

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

Children are routinely recommended for the hepatitis A vaccine beginning at age 1.

And they are urging Warren Countians to get the vaccine.

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