In a release from the Madison County Health Department today, it is now advised by officials for all in Madison County to get vaccinated for Hepatitis A. There are now 24 confirmed cases here in Madison County as part of the statewide outbreak, which is currently to blame for 14 deaths. The Health Department says that in the Commonwealth there are 91 counties affected at this time. The CDC defines an outbreak as a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is expected with a population.
The Hep A vaccine is given in two doses six months apart and can be provided at local pharmacies and some medical providers. Officials say that most insurance plans will cover the immunization.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can be spread when a person unknowingly eats or drinks something contaminated with any amount of stool from an infected person. Washing hands before and after using the bathroom can help stop the spread of this infectious disease. The statewide outbreak began in November of 2017, and the numbers of those affected continue to climb.
Symptoms of those infected do not appear noticeable until 2 weeks after the infection enters the body. Such symptoms include decreased appetite, jaundice, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools, and fatigue. Children do not often exhibit these symptoms from this potentially deadly disease.
Anyone with questions is asked to contact Jim Thacker at the Health Department at (859) 626-4259