In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky, state health officials report over 2,000 confirmed, probable and suspect cases of acute hepatitis A, a liver disease caused by hepatitis A virus since August 2017.
As of mid-October, 2,159 cases have been reported, including 14 fatalities. Jefferson County reports the most cases with 626.
Of this total, 1,166 people required hospitalization.
In November 2017, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) identified an outbreak of acute hepatitis A. The increase in cases observed in Kentucky was well over the 10-year average of reported hepatitis A cases. Several cases have been infected with HAV strains genetically linked to outbreaks in California, Utah and Michigan. Similar to hepatitis A outbreaks in other states, the primary risk factors remain illicit drug use and homelessness. A contaminated food source has not been identified, and HAV transmission is believed to be occurring through person-to-person contact.
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