hepatitis a

(WSMV file photo)

The Metro Public Health Department is now confirming there have been 93 cases of hepatitis A reported in Nashville since December 2017.

The department is working with state officials and community organizations to reach at-risk groups.

Officials say those who have the greatest risk of being exposed are the following groups:

  • People who use drugs (not just injection drug use)
  • Men who have sexual contact with men
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness

Hepatitis A can be prevented through the use of vaccines. The MPHD has been working with community partners to vaccinate more than 4,000 people within the past two months.

Free vaccines have been made available at LGBTQ entertainment venues. Almost 200 people received the vaccine at a recent PRIDE event in Nashville.

The health department is also continuing to offer the vaccine to Davidson County inmates. Click here for more information about how to receive a free vaccine in Nashville

Hepatitis A outbreaks have been reported in several states, including Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Utah and California. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that the cases reported in Nashville match the strain associated with the other outbreaks.

The disease is usually spread when someone unknowingly touches objects or eats or drinks items that have been contaminated by the stool of an infected person. You can also contract the disease by having close contact with an infected person.

Some common symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain. Some instances of the disease can be severe enough to send someone to the hospital. Most people can recover within a few weeks. Click here to read more about the causes and symptoms of hepatitis A from the CDC.

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Multimedia Producer

Kara is an Emmy Award-winning digital producer. She is a Cincinnati native and an alumna of the University of South Carolina. She previously worked at WRDW-TV in Augusta, Ga., before moving to Nashville five years ago to work at WSMV-TV.

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