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NKY Health Dept.: Hepatitis A Outbreak is Over

The Northern Kentucky Health Department on Monday declared an end to the region's hepatitis A outbreak.

The department said in a news release that there had been no new cases reported in the past four months.

During the outbreak, which first started in August of last year, there were 319 documented cases of hepatitis A.

Four people died.

In 2017, there were no known cases.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver infection which usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. 

The health department responded to the outbreak by providing vaccinations in local jails, inspecting local food service establishments, educating the public on proper hand-washing and sanitation.

The department also investigated reported cases.

Those investigations allowed the health department to identify people who came into contact with hepatitis A and to provide them with vaccination to prevent illness.

More than 4,600 people were vaccinated by the health department during the nearly year-long outbreak.

“Even though the current outbreak is over, it is still important to get vaccinated against hepatitis A,” said Dr. Lynne Saddler, the Northern Kentucky Health District Director of Health.

”Not only will it protect you for the future, but it can also help prevent the future spread of hepatitis A in the community.”

Hepatitis A vaccination is now required to attend school in Kentucky, but adults should be vaccinated as well, the department said. Getting two doses at least six months apart can provide life-long protection.

-Staff report

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