This Rural State Has Largest Hepatitis-A Outbreak in USA

8 dead as feces of drug addicts, homeless spreads virus 

| AP, Louisville, KY – In the midst of the largest hepatitis A outbreak in state history, officials are urging residents of 65 Kentucky counties to get vaccinated.

Officials say Kentucky has the largest hepatitis A outbreak in the nation with 1,094 cases. Eight deaths have been reported.

Hepatitis A is transmitted by oral contact with fecal matter. It attacks the liver and causes symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, fever and jaundice. Read the full story at WLTW5. 

Other states … 

Indiana

General store employee diagnosed with hepatitis A in Wayne County

A case of hepatitis A has been diagnosed in an employee who handled food at Casey’s General Store located at 704 E. Main Street in Centerville.

Anyone who consumed food or drink that was prepared at the store on or between July 5 to July 12 is advised to receive a vaccination by July 26 to prevent illness.

The health department is also urging anyone who believes they may be affected to:

  • Monitor health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food
  • Stay at home and contact healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop

Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.

The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection. See the full story at daytondailynews.com.

Michigan 

More than 850 cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed in Michigan to-date, resulting in more than 690 hospitalizations and 27 deaths.

Ingham County sits near the top of the list with 26 confirmed cases since the outbreak began in August 2016.

Hepatitis A is most commonly transmitted through direct contact with contaminated people and objects, or illicit drug use. See the full story at Lansing State Journal. 

Ohio

CHILLICOTHE – As vaccinations for Hepatitis A continue, Ross County continues to be among the top counties in the state in terms of the number of confirmed cases.

According to Ross County Health District Administrator Ben Avery, the county has seen 14 confirmed cases to date, which places it among the top four in the state. Lawrence and Montgomery counties are listed on an Ohio Department of Health map falling within the 16 to 30 case range, while Ross and Lucas counties are listed as having between eight and 15 confirmed cases.

The Ross County number is up from the eight confirmed cases that had been reported as of June 28.

While Hepatitis A concerns were brought to the forefront when the health district announced June 13 that an employee of a Bainbridge restaurant had tested positive, Avery said half of the confirmed cases in Ross County thus far have been connected to inmates in the Ross County Jail. See the full story at chillicothegazette.com.

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