By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials in Kentucky reported three additional outbreak hepatitis A cases in recent weeks putting the state’s outbreak total to 5,001.

Image/CDC (cropped)

The outbreak began in mid- 2017 also accounted for 2,411 hospitalizations and 62 deaths. The outbreak has slowed dramatically in recent months.

Nationally, since the outbreaks were first identified in 2016, 32 states have publicly reported 31,347 cases and 318 deaths.

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CDC says the hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to prevent Hepatitis A infection:

The following groups are at highest risk for acquiring HAV infection or developing serious complications from HAV infection in these outbreaks and should be offered the hepatitis A vaccine in order to prevent or control an outbreak:

    • People who use drugs (injection or non-injection)
    • People experiencing unstable housing or homelessness
    • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
    • People who are currently or were recently incarcerated
    • People with chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C