News Alerts

22 Sep 2018 | 10:26 PM UTC

US: Hepatitis A outbreak continues in Kentucky /update 1

United States of America News Alert

As of mid-September, hepatitis A outbreak infects at least 1701 people in Kentucky since August 2017

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/21/2018, 12:00 AM until 9/28/2018, 11:59 PM (America/New_York). COUNTRY/REGION Kentucky

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Event

As of mid-September, at least 1701 cases of hepatitis A, including 14 associated deaths, have been reported in Kentucky since the outbreak began in August 2017. At least 952 cases have led to the hospitalization of the patient. The most affected areas include Jefferson, Boyd, and Carter counties. Further spread of the outbreak is possible in the coming weeks.

Context

Hepatitis A is transmitted via food and water that has been contaminated by human fecal material containing the virus. The incubation period is between 15 and 50 days. In approximately 90 percent of cases, the infected person presents no symptoms. In cases where symptoms are present the patient may display flu-like symptoms, long-term fatigue (lasting weeks or months), headaches, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, hives, and muscle and joint pain. In some cases, the individual may complain of discomfort in the upper right portion of the abdomen (liver). A gradual yellowing of the skin may also be observed, which can last up to a month. Given that symptoms of hepatitis A are rare and easily confused with other illnesses, a doctor should be consulted in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis. 

Advice

Individuals in or considering travel to the area are advised to contact their medical provider regarding vaccination options. To reduce exposure to the virus, exercise proper personal hygiene and food sanitation measures: wash hands regularly, do not drink tap water, and eat only thoroughly cooked foods. 

 

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