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Kentucky health officials encourage hep A vaccination amid state outbreak

Updated: Jul. 19, 2018 at 6:07 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Louisville's latest record-breaking feat isn't anything to brag about.

The current hepatitis A outbreak is the largest ever recorded in both the city and in Kentucky as a whole.

With the outbreak continuing to spread, Kentucky officials have urged the public to consider getting a vaccination.

>>> LIST: WAVE Country businesses affected by hepatitis A

"This is a vaccine preventable disease," Dr. Jeffrey Howard with the Kentucky Department of Public Health said. "So we have encouraged from a state level those who are at risk, or that have risk factors - which in this outbreak are homelessness, drug abusing populations, or some association with those populations. Or you live in an outbreak area. So if you live in Jefferson County we have recommended that you get the vaccination."

Health officials have emphasized the disease is spread person to person - rather than by food.

The symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

Anyone who may have been exposed should visit www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav for more information.

More than 1,000 cases of hep A have been confirmed in the state so far.

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