Montgomery Co. health officials working to stop spread of Hepatitis A

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The latest report from the Kentucky Department for Public Health shows there have been 761 cases of Hepatitis A in the state.

In Montgomery County, state officials have identified 15 reported cases.

"This is not something that we see a lot," said Jan Chamness, Montgomery County Public Health Director.

Hepatitis A can spread through person-to-person contact or by ingesting contaminated food or water. Good hygiene can help stop the spread, as well as vaccines.

The Montgomery County Health Department is working to vaccinate those who are at-risk and uninsured. Right now, they are working with staff at the regional jail to vaccinate inmates to help stop the spread.

"This seems to be common among injection drug users and we know that the majority of the population in the jails are there for drug-related reasons," Chamness said. "That is a good place to start at least in trying to vaccinate as many people as we can."

The vaccine is given in two parts: the initial vaccine and then a booster six months later. While there is a cost to it, officials say most of the time insurance will cover it. However, if not, officials at the Montgomery County Health Department are willing to work with people.

"We are not going to present cost as a barrier of getting that vaccine," Chamness said.

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