Hepatitis A outbreak continues in NKY

Vaccinations for all residents strongly encouraged

Hepatitis A outbreak continues in NKY
The hepatitis A vaccine. The best way to prevent hepatitis A is to get vaccinated, health officials say. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Northern Kentucky Health Department announced they continue to see an increase in cases of hepatitis A in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties as part of the statewide outbreak.

More than 50 cases of hepatitis were first announced in Aug. 2018. As of November 29, the number has almost quadrupled to more than 200 cases, including two deaths, according to NKY Health.

Officials said there were no cases of hepatitis A reported among Northern Kentucky residents last year.

“Hepatitis A infection can be prevented through vaccination and frequent, proper hand washing. Children, ages 1 through 18, are already required to be vaccinated against hepatitis A for school. With the outbreak occurring, we are strongly encouraging the vaccine for all adults. In this way, your entire family can have protection against this infection and help eliminate the spread of hepatitis A in Northern Kentucky,” District Director of Health at NKY Health Dr. Lynne Saddler said in a news release.

NKY Health is recommending that all residents receive a hepatitis A vaccination.

“We’re encouraging everyone in Northern Kentucky, while you’re out and about this holiday season, get vaccinated. The reality is you might not have the risk factors but you might come in contact with someone who does," said Dr. Saddler.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, yellowing of skin and eyes, brown-colored urine and light-colored stools. People may have some or none of these symptoms and it could take up to seven weeks after being exposed to the virus for someone to become ill.

The hepatitis A vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart. The first shot provides short-term protection and the second shot provides long-term protection. The vaccine is available at most doctors’ offices, pharmacies and retail clinics.

For more information visit the health department’s website.

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