Amid outbreak, Kentucky residents flocking to get hepatitis A vaccinations


Health officials said no customers of any restaurant in Kentucky have been infected and infection from a food worker is highly unlikely. Health officials say between August 1, 2016 and April 18, 2018, 815 people have been diagnosed with the disease.

IN health officials have advised residents to get vaccinated for hepatitis A if their summer plans include visits to either Kentucky or MI, where the Department of Health says significant outbreaks of the liver-damaging virus have been reported.

IN has seen 77 cases in 2018, and the state usually sees about 20 cases a year.

Since 2016, there have been more than 800 hep A cases in MI, including 25 deaths. You can get more info, symptoms to watch out for and who should get vaccinated here.

Health officials said that rumors are circulating that people from out-of-state heading to the Kentucky Derby need Hepatitis A vaccinations, but they say that is just not true. Hepatitis A virus is usually spread through feces (stool) of infected people but may also be spread through injection drug use.

Kentucky is in the middle of a large Hepatitis outbreak. "That is something that we are tracking very closely", said Pontones. "Getting vaccinated and thoroughly washing your hands before and after preparing food and eating and after using the restroom are simple, safe and effective ways to prevent the spread of hepatitis A".

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"Hepatitis A is usually a mild virus".

Hepatitis A symptoms include nausea and vomiting, belly pain, feeling exhausted, fever, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine, pale-colored faces and joint pain.

A person who has Hepatitis A is infectious two weeks before they began exhibiting symptoms and then about a week after the symptoms start. Based on current information, populations who are homeless, transient or incarcerated or use illicit drugs are considered at increased risk of exposure to hepatitis A. It can also be transmitted to someone who has eaten contaminated food.

"Any care would be supportive care", she said, adding those who already have a liver condition can experience significant problems by contracting the virus.

"The Hepatitis A vaccination is often covered by insurance plans". There are also vaccines out there to prevent Hepatitis A and B; the same can not be said for Hepatitis C.