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Lexington Hepatitis A cases remain low despite the outbreak in Louisville



LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Health experts are worried that the outbreak of hepatitis A will continue to increase throughout the Commonwealth, as the Kentucky Derby is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of people to Louisville

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people to take appropriate steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

"We had no outbreaks in the United States for the past 30 years [hepatitis A] until a recent outbreak in 201

7," state epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan Ballard says.

It's a new territory for the latest generation of state health leaders, as an outbreak of hepatitis A has now surpassed 300 cases. Many of them are reported in Louisville and Ashland. Although it is the second largest city in the Commonwealth, Lexington has managed to keep its cases in the single-digit range.

"We do our best to protect our food supply, reduce the ability of this disease to cause infection, and then reduce the transmission that occurs to anyone," says Ballard.

The Fayette County Health Department confirms that it has issued about 100 vaccines to high-risk groups. These include inmates, homeless people and drug addicts.

"Hepatitis A is spread through contact from hand to hand," Ballard says, "if you touch surfaces, drugs or drug paraphernalia and then another person does not have access to good hand hygiene, the disease can spread from person to person among these State health officials also remind parents that public school students need hepatitis A vaccination.


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