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March 2020

Hepatitis A Monitoring in Ohio




The Ohio EMA Watch Office has been monitoring Hepatitis A outbreaks in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia. As of April 17th, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reports that 31 cases of Hepatitis A have been reported in Ohio in 2018.

While some of these cases are directly linked to outbreaks in other states, ODH states that this increase is not considered an outbreak in Ohio at this time. The Ohio Department of Health is working with local health partners to identify and investigate Hepatitis A case reports.

Out-of-State Reports

The Indiana State department of Health reports 40 cases statewide including 11 in Clark and Floyd counties, which border Jefferson County Kentucky. Many of the southern Indiana cases have involved inmates in the Clark County Jail, restaurants and an elementary school. Kentucky and Indiana typically sees about 20 cases each statewide a year.

Source: Indiana State Department of Health

The Kentucky Department for Public Health reports 311 cases have been reported since August of 2017, with 86 of those being confirmed – one death has been tied to the outbreak. The outbreak has been centered in Jefferson County. Louisville Metro Department of Health has vaccinated over 5700 high risk residents. Ashland Kentucky – Boyd County has seen an increase in hepatitis cases and reported 23 in the last several months. Infected workers in Ashland have been identified at several food establishments and a service station. Ashland is frequently visited by Ohio residents for shopping and restaurants.

Source: WDRB

Resource: Kentucky Department for Public Health

The Michigan department of Health and Human Services reports that there have been 804 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in Michigan since August 1, 2016. This number includes 25 deaths and 646 hospitalizations associated with the outbreak. Several areas have reported cases and include; City of Detroit, Huron, Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties. No common sources of food, beverages, or drugs have been identified as a potential source of infection. Transmission appears to be through direct person-to-person spread and illicit drug use. Notably, this outbreak has had a high hospitalization rate.

Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

The West Virginia-based Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (KCHD) reports 31 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in its area of operation (Kanawha and Putnam counties). The number includes new cases in Kanawha and Putnam counties since January. Health officials are working with local shelters to get people vaccinated. The KCHD attributes the growing outbreak in their area, as well as the multistate outbreak to the use of illicit drugs among a transient population, who may not have access to proper hygiene or sanitation. KCHD reports that before this current outbreak, hepatitis A cases were rare in this region of West Virginia.

Ohio Emergency Medical Services
Melvin House, Executive Director

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