Health officials battle Hepatitis A outbreak ahead of Derby

Health officials battle Hepatitis A outbreak ahead of Derby
Hepatitis A vaccinations.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As public health officials continue to battle an outbreak of Hepatitis A in WAVE Country, some making efforts to curb the number of cases affecting them are seeing results.

Metro Public Health officials said more than 1,300 food service workers have now been vaccinated. However, several additional cases of Hepatitis A at restaurants were reported over the last week.

Cases at Bearno's Pizza on Westport Road and an Arby's in Sellersburg were announced Friday, but, as they were added to the list, others in the area are noticing somewhat of a slowdown.

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"We've been pretty lucky, as far as, in a jail like setting, where this spreads easily," Clark County Sheriff's Department Lt. Col. Scottie Maples said.

When WAVE 3 News spoke to Clark County jail officials in Mid-March, three inmates were infected with the virus and a total of 11 cases had been present in the county correctional facility since December.

Now, officials said that count is up to 12. Maples explained that there is only one confirmed case in the jail right now.

"So, we've got to be extra cautious," Maples said. "Do extra cleaning, make sure the inmates are washing their hands, make sure our workers are washing their hands."

Across the Ohio River, a spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness said more than 16,000 people have been vaccinated so far.  As Derby Week ramps up, and an influx of people are expected in Kentucky and Indiana.

"I don't believe that this week is going to bring extra challenges," Maples said. "We're doing everything that we possibly can right now to prevent any cases from Hepatitis A from spreading in our jail. So, I don't know what else we could do, even though this is Derby Week."

Metro Public Health officials said Walgreens reported that they provided more than 6,300 vaccinations last week.

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