Kentucky health agency recommending hepatitis A vaccination

Kentucky health officials push for hepatitis A vaccinations in six counties

Kentucky health officials push for hepatitis A vaccinations in six counties

DPH recommends that all people in outbreak counties consult with their primary care doctor or insurance carrier regarding an in-network provider for administration of the hepatitis A vaccine.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health is pushing for people to get vaccinations in six Kentucky counties heavily impacted by hepatitis A.

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

Health leaders are recommending vaccinations for people in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties, as all of those counties have seen at least five cases of the virus.

Acting Commissioner Jeffrey Howard says hepatitis A is preventable by vaccine.

Since 2006, the CDC has recommended children receive the hepatitis A vaccine series.

Children in all public and private schools in Kentucky will need to be immunized with hepatitis A vaccine before starting school on or after July 1, 2018, unless their parents or legal guardians assert an exemption based upon religious beliefs. Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection. The virus is found in the stool of people infected with Hepatitis A and typically spread from person to person contact. The disease often is transmitted when people do not wash their hands properly or do not have access to proper sanitation. Hand sanitizer should be used only when soap and water is unavailable.

Kentucky's hepatitis A outbreak has eclipsed 300 cases, and one person has died. Therefore, it is recommended that children and adults in counties with local transmission of the virus as part of this outbreak receive the hepatitis A vaccine.