Hepatitis vaccinations urged as Kentucky's outbreak worst in state history

Published: Jul. 19, 2018 at 1:35 PM EDT
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In the midst of the largest hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky's history, health officials are urging anyone who lives in a county where cases have been confirmed to get vaccinated.

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, the Centers for Disease Control and the Kentucky Department for Public Health made the recommendation in a statement Thursday that includes updates about the outbreak.

Officials say Kentucky has the largest hepatitis A outbreak in the nation with 1,094 cases spread over 65 of the state's 120 counties. Eight deaths have been reported.

Officials say the virus remains centered primarily among those who use illegal drugs and the homeless.

Hepatitis A is transmitted by oral contact with fecal matter. It attacks the liver and causes symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, fever and jaundice.