5th person dies from hepatitis A in Louisville

Leslie Hanson
August 18, 2018

The Kentucky Department for Public Health declared a statewide outbreak of hepatitis A in November 2017.

Even as the spread slows in Utah, hepatitis A has been popping up elsewhere: Kentucky has been hit hard, and outbreaks have also been reported in West Virginia and Tennessee, said Michelle Vowles with the Salt Lake County Health Department.

The Utah outbreak of the virus began past year among Salt Lake City's homeless population and illicit drug users, and there were fears it could jump to the general population after restaurant and convenience-store workers were infected.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department is declaring a hepatitis A outbreak.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, clay-colored stools, and jaundice (yellowish color to the skin and eyes).

The disease is spread through contact with fecal matter and poor hygiene. The third death happened in the last two weeks and remains under investigation, said Nicholas Rupp with the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Since January 2018, over 50 cases of hepatitis A and 1 death have been reported in Northern Kentucky.

While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant patrons to become infected with the hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, anyone who consumed food or drinks at Newport Syndicate during the stated time period is advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination.

Hepatitis A is preventable with a vaccine. With the outbreak occurring, we are strongly encouraging the vaccine for all adults.

Officials have said Kentucky's outbreak is the worst in the nation.

The hepatitis A vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart.

However, most people who are infected recovery completely with no permanent liver damage.

People with health insurance or Medicaid should be able to get the vaccine for free but should check with their health insurance provider for coverage information.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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