Kentucky is still experiencing a major Hepatitis A outbreak. Now, there are cases being confirmed in McCreary County (see Lake Cumberland trends). McCreary has had 5 cases in November. That is equivalent to 2.8 cases per every 10,000 people, which is almost three times higher than the state average.
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and the Lake Cumberland District Health Department recommend everyone residing in McCreary County be vaccinated. Hepatitis A vaccination is available at most local pharmacies, the health department and health care providers.
Kentucky has been experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak since August 2017 with 2769 cases now reported, 1438 (52%) hospitalizations and 17 deaths.
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 https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/