Kentucky has been experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak, with 884 cases reported since August 2017 and 525 hospitalizations. The Lake Cumberland region has had 10 cases, 5 of which have occurred in Taylor County. Five cases in one county has been designated as a threshold by the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) to recommend everyone residing in Taylor County to be vaccinated. Hepatitis A vaccination is available at most local pharmacies, health departments and health care providers.
According to the CDC: “Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection; most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.”
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should immediately seek medical attention. Anyone with possible exposure and not experiencing symptoms is encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or the health department for a post-exposure hepatitis A vaccination. For more information about hepatitis A, please visit CDC: HepA.