Indiana reports first hep A death in multistate outbreak

The Indiana State Department of Health confirmed Indiana's first death related to a multistate hepatitis A outbreak, according to The La Port County Herald-Argus.

The current outbreak has caused 4,000 illnesses across 10 states, resulting in multiple mortalities nationwide.

Indiana has reported 214 hepatitis A cases related to the outbreak since November 2017. The state usually experiences about 20 illnesses in a year.

"This heartbreaking loss of life illustrates how serious this outbreak is, and I urge Hoosiers to practice good handwashing and to get vaccinated, especially if they fall into a high-risk population," Kris Box, MD, Indiana state health commissioner, in a statement cited by the Herald-Argus. "We are working with our local and federal health partners to slow the spread of hepatitis A in our state, but this disease is highly contagious and can spread rapidly, so prevention is critical."

ISDH allocated roughly $1 million in state and federal funds to provide ample supply of adult vaccines to local health departments.

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