In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak in Nashville, TN, Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) officials confirmed 34 cases of hepatitis A have occurred in Nashville since December 2017.
“Metro Public Health Department staff, working with multiple community partners, continue to plan additional opportunities to offer the hepatitis A vaccine to the at-risk communities,” said Rachel Franklin, Interim Director of Communicable Disease and Emergency Preparedness. “This week we added three vaccination clinics to reach people experiencing homelessness. Our staff vaccinated nearly 200 among the at-risk group at last weekend’s PRIDE Festival and we are planning additional locations to offer the vaccine in the coming weeks to reach the MSM community.”
The Health Department has worked with the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission staff on a hepatitis A vaccine campaign to reach the homeless. That initial vaccination effort began June 18 and will run through July 6. The Health Department added three additional locations since last week, including the Room in the Inn and the Nashville Rescue Mission. The homeless outreach is in addition to the ongoing vaccination efforts at MPHD clinics and Neighborhood Health clinics.
- Friday, June 29 (9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.): Caldwell Park, 4905 Edmonson Pike, Nashville 37211
- Friday, June 29 (8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.): Room in the Inn, 705 Drexel St, Nashville 37203
- Monday, July 2 (9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.): City Road Chapel (Quiet Room), 701 Gallatin Road South, Madison 37115
- Friday, July 6 (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.): Community Care Fellowship (Ken & Carol’s), 511 South 8th Street, Nashville 37206
- Monday, July 9 (2:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.): Nashville Rescue Mission, 639 Lafayette St, Nashville 37203
The Health Department worked with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office to offer hepatitis A vaccine at all DCSO facilities after four cases of hepatitis A were confirmed among DCSO inmates three weeks ago. Health officials offered hepatitis A vaccine to inmates housed in DCSO facilities, as well as DCSO public safety staff. MPHD and DCSO are working on a plan to offer hepatitis A vaccine when a person in custody enters a DCSO facility.
As a result of the confirmed cases, all DCSO inmates will undergo a screening prior to being taken to any scheduled appointments or court dates. If they are found to have any signs or symptoms, they will be isolated and will not leave the facility until they have been cleared by medical staff.
Large hepatitis A outbreaks have occurred since early 2017 in several states, including ongoing outbreaks in California, Utah, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia, spreading from person to person primarily among people who are homeless and people who use illicit drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those at greatest risk of exposure to hepatitis A in the current outbreaks include:
- People who use drugs (not just injection drug use)
- Men who have sexual contact with men
- Individuals experiencing homelessness