The closest counties with reported cases are Hopkins County, one case; Warren County, three cases; and Meade County, two cases.
The health officials at Madison County health department of Kentucky said that McDonald Corp. employee in the city possibly has spread hepatitis A among customers. One death has been reported. Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!
"With popular tourist events coming up in other states, we know many Hoosiers will be traveling to areas impacted by hepatitis A, and we want them to be safe", said Deputy State Health Commissioner and State Epidemiologist Pam Pontones.
Kevin Hall, communications officer for the local health department, said increased demand helped get the extra day added.
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People living in some counties in Kentucky are being urged to get a Hepatitis A vaccine.
The spreading of Hepatitis A comes down to poor hygiene, said Ballard, pointing out the disease is transferred mostly through hand-to-hand contact and touching surfaces. The virus is found in the stool of people infected with Hepatitis A and typically spread from person to person contact. Although the full recommended vaccination schedule involves two doses six months apart, an initial dose given now would significantly boost Hepatitis A immunity before the Derby, which draws crowds in excess of 150,000. "If you have insurance, please consult with your primary care provider, in-network provider or local pharmacy for administration of the hepatitis A vaccine", Best said.
While the current hepatitis A outbreak is occurring primarily within specific at-risk populations, including people who use illicit drugs (both injection and non-injection) and the homeless, through person-to-person transmission. She encouraged residents to take steps to protect themselves against hepatitis A infection. DPH recommends individuals wash their hands often and particularly after using the restroom or before consuming food.
Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days and may include jaundice (the yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), abdominal pain, fever, nausea or diarrhea.
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Since 2006, the CDC has recommended children receive the hepatitis A vaccine series. Hand sanitizer should be used only when soap and water is unavailable.
"About 70 percent of our cases in Kentucky either report drug use or homelessness", he said.
Hall said Fayette County has had just two hepatitis A cases, though neither are a part of the outbreak in the state.
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