May 23, 2019

Hepatitis A Outbreak Slowing

A booklet containing information on hepatitis A. - Steve Burns/WFIU

A booklet containing information on hepatitis A.

Steve Burns/WFIU
Sean Hogan

Monroe County health officials are cautiously optimistic that the number of confirmed hepatitis A cases may have already peaked statewide.

Health Department Administrator Penny Caudill says cases are still emerging but they’re declining.

“It does appear that we possibly could have peaked with our numbers in the state this winter," Caudill says. "And that we might be on kind of … right now our numbers are declining which is good news.”

Caudill still recommends those at risk for hepatitis A get vaccinated because the liver infection is highly contagious. It spreads through fecal-oral means.

Indiana is part of a multi-state hepatitis A outbreak.

There are 50 confirmed cases in Monroe County and more than 1,400 cases statewide, according to Indiana State Department of Health data. Four people have died from hepatitis A, but none in Monroe County.

Caudill says 4,000 people have been vaccinated in Monroe County and more 150,000 have been vaccinated statewide.

The state requires Hepatitis A vaccinations for Kindergarten through fourth grade students, as well as 6th and 12th graders.

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