West Virginia Officials Recommend Hepatitis A Vaccinations For Food Service Workers

West Virginia Officials Recommend Hepatitis A Vaccinations For Food Service Workers

West Virginia Officials Recommend Hepatitis A Vaccinations For Food Service Workers

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department reported the death Thursday in a news release, after its officials spoke with a family member who confirmed the May 23 death of a 33-year-old Kanawha County resident. Because of the high incidence of drug use reported in West Virginia and among the food industry, this is a proactive measure to vaccinate a high-risk group in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

MPHD issued a health alert to health care providers in Nashville about the outbreak, a reminder about symptoms, and for providers to report cases to the Health Department.

Statewide, there have been 106 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Hepatitis A. The illness caused by this virus can be prevented with a vaccination, of either the hepatitis A or immune globulin shot.

Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) officials announced today details of a hepatitis A outbreak that is occurring in Nashville.

Howard says the funding will provide 1,000 additional vaccine doses for each county - for a total of 10,000 doses.

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Eight food establishments in Kanawha, Putnam, and Cabell counties have had a food service worker diagnosed with hepatitis A. No customers of those establishments have been diagnosed with the illness. Hepatitis A 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. Three vaccinations clinics are scheduled over the next week in Charleston.

The state averages fewer than 20 cases a year.

While most of the attention has been focused on food workers in the Louisville area who contracted the disease, Dr. Howard says there have been no cases linked to food contamination. Hardest hit is Jefferson County, which includes Louisville.

Young children are routinely recommended for the hepatitis A vaccine beginning at age one.

And they are urging Warren Countians to get the vaccine. Symptoms include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice.

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