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Suspected West Virginia Hepatitis A Outbreak



CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia health officials report the first Kanawha County death suspected to be associated with a hepatitis A outbreak.

The Department of Health of Kanawha-Charleston says in a news release that department officials spoke to a relative who confirmed the Wednesday death of a 33-year-old person. The patient was not a food service worker and, according to DHHR, had other "significant" chronic diseases or conditions that resulted in death.

While death is associated with hepatitis A, the official cause of death is not

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by a virus becomes. It is usually transmitted from person to person or by eating contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice

Most people diagnosed with hepatitis A feel ill for several weeks, but usually recover. In rare cases, however, health officials say the disease can cause liver failure and death. This is more common in people 50 and older and people with liver disease.

The State Bureau for Public Health reports 1

06 confirmed or suspected cases of hepatitis A in eight counties in West Virginia.

On Wednesday, health officials called for hepatitis vaccinations for restaurant and foodservice workers in the Kanawha and Putnam counties


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