Statewide hepatitis A outbreak continues, more deaths reported

0
307

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health continues its push for people to get the hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible to avoid getting the virus and spreading the disease.

Since the outbreak began in August 2017, reported cases continue to rise and have now been recorded in 103 of Kentucky’s 120 counties, according to the state.

- Advertisement -

High risk groups include people who use illicit drugs, close contacts of illicit drug users and the homeless.

About 80-percent of the cases in the current outbreak are people in the high risk groups, according to the Department for Public Health (DPH).

As of January 26, 2019, a total of 3,819 cases have been reported in Kentucky due to the outbreak.  There have been 40 known deaths and 1,862 hospitalizations, according to the state.

To date, 80 counties have reported five or more cases, meaning they meet the threshold for what is considered an outbreak of the virus.

Boyd, Carter, Fayette, Floyd, Jefferson, Kenton, Laurel, Madison and Whitley counties report 100 or more cases.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease of the liver, which causes inflammation of the organ and affects its ability to function.

Signs and symptoms of the disease include nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), clay-colored bowel movements, dark-colored urine and abdominal discomfort.

Signs and symptoms usually appear 2-to-4 weeks after exposure, but may occur up to 7 weeks after exposure.  Children under 6 years of age often show few signs and symptoms.

Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of infected people, and is usually spread person-to-person when infected people do not properly wash their hands or do not have access to proper sanitation.

Transmission typically occurs when a person ingests infected fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from contact with contaminated objects, food or drinks.

 

 

Previous articleIraqi Shiite militia detains commander who criticized Iran
Next articleVatican ex-doctrine chief pens manifesto amid pope criticism
mm
Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.