Kentucky health officials push for hepatitis A vaccinations in six counties

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 16, 2018

The hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky has reached an unfortunate level.

Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties.

As of early April 2018, 214 cases have been reported in the greater Louisville area.

That recommendation includes everyone living in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties, according to a news release.

Hepatitis A vaccine is available at local pharmacies and health care providers. The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) recommends vaccination for people who wish to be protected against hepatitis A infection.

Acting Commissioner Jeffrey Howard says hepatitis A is preventable by vaccine. Effective July 1, 2018, all Kentucky students in kindergarten through 12th grade must receive two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine to attend school or receive a provisional certificate of immunization (unless their parents claim an exemption). DPH recommends individuals wash their hands often and particularly after using the restroom or before consuming food.

Kentucky's hepatitis A outbreak has eclipsed 300 cases, and one person has died. Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection.

For people who do have contact with a person with Hepatitis A virus, Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is recommended by the CDC for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to hepatitis A virus in the previous 2 weeks.

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