Rise in Indiana hepatitis A cases linked to Kentucky outbreak

The Indiana State Department of Health has tallied 40 cases of hepatitis A statewide since January. The state typically sees fewer than 20 cases a year.

Health officials linked many of the Indiana cases to an ongoing outbreak in neighboring Kentucky. From Jan. 1, 2017, to March 17, 2018, the Kentucky Department of Public Health identified 198 hepatitis A infections related to an outbreak concentrated in the Louisville area.

"Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus, and seeing this many cases in such a short timeframe is concerning," said Kris Box, MD, Indiana's health commissioner. "We are working closely with our local partners to identify individuals who may have been exposed and to halt the transmission of disease."

Investigators also linked the Kentucky outbreak, which caused 142 hospitalizations and one death, to other statewide outbreaks in California and Utah through viral sequencing.

Hepatitis A is most often spread via contact with fecal matter from an infected individual. Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include abdominal pain, low-grade fever, nausea, fatigue and jaundice.

To learn more about hepatitis A, click here.

More articles on infection control: 
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