Hepatitis A numbers down in Kentucky; health officials still urge vaccination
State numbers show a large drop in new cases of Hepatitis A.
Health officials attribute a few things to the decline in cases across the state. They say awareness and vaccinations were certainly a big part of it.
Officials with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department say the outbreak technically is not over, and there's a chance it may never be, officially. They say it has, however, certainly slowed down.
It's certainly welcome news for an outbreak responsible for roughly five-thousand cases and five dozen deaths going back to November 2017.
Kentucky has seen five new cases in the last half of November, according to the most recent numbers from the Kentucky Department for Public Health. That’s compared to 175 at the same time last year.
Health leaders in Lexington say they haven't had any new cases since July.
“In terms of the definition of an outbreak for epidemiologists, this outbreak may never be considered 'over.' In terms of what the state is telling us, it's slowed down,” says Kevin Hall, with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. “It's not over, it's not stopped. Definitely though, it's under better control that is has been, and it's definitely under control compared to last year."
Even now, health officials still encourage folks who haven’t gotten the Hepatitis A vaccine to go ahead and get vaccinated. The Hep-A vaccine comes in two doses. Those receiving the vaccine will get the second dose six months after the first. Health officials say if you have received the first dose, but never got the second, it’s not too late to get the follow-up dose.