قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / Health / Regional Hep An outbreak linked to Ohio Valley Addiction Crisis

Regional Hep An outbreak linked to Ohio Valley Addiction Crisis



Regional Hep An Outbreak Linked to Ohio Valley Addiction Crisis

By: Mary Meehan | Ohio Valley ReSource

Posted on:


<< Back to

A hepatitis A outbreak that has been growing in the Louisville area since last summer recently reached a new high with a travelogue by Indiana health officials. They called on Hoosiers to go to Kentucky to receive Hep A vaccine.

Soon Kentkings Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Jeffrey Howard back.

"Let me say it's safe to travel to Kentucky It's safe to visit the Kentucky Derby," Howard said on the state's official YouTube channel.

Kentucky Acting Public Health Commissioner Jeffrey Howard. (19659009) Later that same day, West Virginia health officials announced a HepA outbreak discovered in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

What looked like an isolated rash of cases in a few Kentucky counties now turned into a regional outbreak with multiple states, with nearly 500 cases in four states and numbers rising daily. As with the recent accumulations of HIV cases and increased risk of hepatitis C, this recent outbreak of hepatitis A is also closely linked to the addiction of the region

The immediacy and tragedy of overdose deaths in the Ohio Valley have overshadowed the risks of infections related to the opioid epidemic. But with this recent outbreak, it is clear that the disease has joined overdoses as another public health threat through the addiction crisis.

Rapid Spread

West Virginia Public Health Commissioner Rahul Gupta said quick action is crucial. West Virginia declared an outbreak when 20 cases occurred in two counties. In general, the total number of cases in a year will remain in the single-digit range.

"One of the things we understand in public health is that at the onset of a disease, we can certainly accumulate a number of people to have this disease very quickly," Gupta said.

Dr. Rahul Gupta is Commissioner of the West Virginia Health Office, which has the highest death rate from overdose. (Ashton Marra, Courtesy WVPB)

In each affected condition in the region, infection rates are well above the norm. Ohio, which has about four dozen cases, has not declared an outbreak. But Ohio's cases in the past four months have already exceeded the total state's losses from last year.

Kentucky has reported more than 370 cases since breaking out last summer. In recent years, the annual average was about 20 cases.

Drug Connection

Another unusual factor in this Hep A outbreak is that it focuses on drug users. Normally, HepA outbreaks are caused by the ingestion of fecal contaminated feed. This often means that the food is contaminated where it is grown or that a food service agent unknowingly passes the disease through a restaurant.

But this outbreak is different, as Gupta explained.

"People who have a substance disorder and the use of illegal drugs may also be unable to maintain personal hygiene," he said, "which puts them at greater risk of becoming infected with hepatitis A." [19659021] Health officials link the outbreak of hepatitis A to drug use and homelessness. (Wikimedia Commons)

Howard, of Kentucky, said the disease control centers are tracking Hep A outbreaks in five states that show this unusual transmission. This means that Hep A is now overdose, Hep C and HIV health threats related to the addiction crisis. And the surveillance and treatment efforts are complicated by the regional nature of the infection.

"The biggest challenge we face is when outbreaks cross state borders," he said. He referred to an ongoing investigation into a group of HIV cases in northern Kentucky, which included many commuter communities in Cincinnati. This outbreak is also linked to drug use. "For the first time in Kentucky history, we had HIV transmission, with the most common risk factor being intravenous drug use," he said.

He also predicts more outbreaks linked to the addiction crisis.

There will be more and more outbreaks in the coming months and years, "he said.

Gupta said death is relatively rare in Hep A. But the disease can be severe and last for several weeks Fever, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, jaundice, clay-colored bowel movements and joint pain.

Hopeful signs

There are some hopeful signs: First, the best prevention is a good hand wash with soap and water, and second, Hep A vaccine Since the introduction of the vaccine in 1995, hepatitis A cases have declined by more than 95 percent in the US

The CDC targets the supply of the most vulnerable areas and says that manufacturers All regional health officials with whom the ReSource had contact said the vaccines were sufficient.

The CDC says hepatitis A vaccines are good. (Wikimedia Commons User Kallerna)

Dr. James Gaskell is the Health Commissioner of the Ministry of Health of the City of Athens in Ohio. He said when recent outbreaks came out, he had his staff check the available supplies.

Gaskell is confident that an outbreak can be contained. But he said there are constant barriers to treatment in rural areas, barriers hampered by an increase in infectious diseases.

"Communication is sometimes a problem in Appalachians, even in today's world," he said.

Dr. Kraig Humbaugh is the Fayette County, Kentucky, health commissioner and previously served as epidemiologist Kentucky. He said it was hard to tell the true extent of an outburst.

"That's true in almost every type of epidemic," he said. "There is always a certain percentage of cases that are hidden or unrecognized."

For example, an outbreak linked to imported foods in 2016 led to a 45 percent increase in cases of hepatitis A in the US to about 2,000 cases. After adjusting for undercollection, the CDC estimated the actual number of new infections in 2016 at nearly 4,000.

Humbaugh said the current outbreak will draw more attention to the associated health problems in the region, and this could lead to more federal aid

"Unfortunately, there are human costs and financial costs, but it seems we have more Get attention. "

These costs are likely to rise as the addiction crisis becomes more contagious disease outbreaks through the Ohio Valley.

ReSource reporter Aaron Payne contributed to this report.


Source link