MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The state of Tennessee is experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak.
Nearly 500 cases have been reported in the state this year, resulting in one death.
While a majority of the cases have been reported in the Nashville and Chattanooga areas, the Shelby County Health Department has reported three cases in the county during the month of November. The health department says the local cases are connected to outbreak in other areas of the state.
“The Shelby County Health Department is investigating all persons who may have been in contact with the hepatitis A patients during their infectious period and offering them free vaccinations against the virus. If given within 14 days of exposure, the vaccine is highly effective in preventing infection,” health director Alisa Haushalter said. “Additionally, the Health Department is offering free hepatitis A vaccinations to populations who are especially at-risk for hepatitis A.”
The disease is transmitted from person to person through contact with contaminated feces or consumption of contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, weight loss and yellow skin and eyes.
Anyone with questions about hepatitis A can call the health department hotline number at 1-833-943-1658.