Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) officials confirmed Thursday 83 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Nashville since December 2017. MPHD continues to work with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), as well as other Metro Departments and community organizations in response to the outbreak. Work continues to reach three at-risk groups. Those at greatest risk of exposure to hepatitis A in the current outbreak include:
- People who use drugs (not just injection drug use)
- Men who have sexual contact with men
- Individuals experiencing homelessness
The Health Department has led a hepatitis A vaccine campaign, along with community partners, to vaccinate more than 4,000 people in Nashville over the past two months. Vaccination initiatives are continuing in an effort to end the outbreak, including working with organizations that serve the homeless, reaching out to the LGBTQ community, working with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office to vaccinate DCSO inmates, and efforts to reach those who use drugs.
Neighborhood Health will offer hepatitis A vaccine at an upcoming special event. One Generation Away, a food ministry serving our area, has donated two pallets of boxed food to support Neighborhood Health’s ongoing hepatitis A vaccination efforts. Neighborhood Health will be distributing the food and offering hepatitis A vaccine on Tuesday, August 28th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Downtown Clinic (DTC), 526 8th Ave South.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Common symptoms include: fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), and clay-colored stools. The disease can be severe in some people, possibly requiring hospitalization. Most recover completely within a few weeks. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also spread from close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill. The best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination.
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