Forty-eight percent of Hepatitis A cases in Kentucky have resulted in hospitalization and the numbers continue to climb.
The latest information that has been made available indicates a total of 4,879 cases. Total people hospitalized was 2,361 and there were 61 deaths.
Current numbers for the Lake Cumberland area show that this region has a total of 231 cases, including 19 in Wayne County.
Case numbers for other counties are: Pulaski County, 97; Taylor County, 50; McCreary County, 28; Casey County, 14; Clinton County, 12; Adair County, 3; Green County, 3; Russell County, 3; and Cumberland County, 2.
The majority of cases have been reported among those who use illicit drugs and/or are homeless.
A contaminated food source has not been identified and transmission is believed to have occurred through person to person contact. Transmission of the virus occurs via oral contact with contaminated hands or objects.
Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, fatigue, and fever. Individuals are contagious two weeks before and one to two weeks after the onset of symptoms.
The average incubation period of Hepatitis A is four weeks. Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease, and the best way of slowing the outbreaks is by vaccinating at-risk individuals.