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Hepatitis A Outbreak Update: 198 Confirmed Hepatitis A Cases in Nashville Since December 2017

4/4/2019

Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) officials confirmed 198 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Nashville since December 2017.  The total number has increased by two cases from last week. Work continues to reach three at-risk groups. Those at greatest risk of exposure to hepatitis A include:

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

The Health Department and our community partners have provided free vaccine to more than 12,100 people in Nashville since the outbreak was announced in late May of 2018. The total vaccinated does not include vaccine given by private providers.

Vaccination initiatives will continue in an effort to end the year-long outbreak, including working with organizations that serve the homeless, reaching out to the LGBTQ community, working with the Davidson County Sheriff's Office to vaccinate DCSO inmates, and efforts to reach those who use drugs.

Large hepatitis A outbreaks have occurred since early 2017 in several states, including California, Utah, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia, spreading from person to person primarily among people who are homeless and people who are drug users.

MPHD continues to offer free hepatitis A vaccine at all three of its Health Department Centers to the three risk groups.  MPHD continues to receive additional doses of hepatitis A vaccine from TDH and more vaccine is available as needed.

MPHD operates three health centers open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday:

  • East Health Center, 1015 East Trinity Lane
  • Lentz Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Avenue
  • Woodbine Health Center, 224 Oriel Avenue

MPHD has an agreement with Neighborhood Health to provide hepatitis A vaccine at the three following Neighborhood Health locations:

Downtown Clinic, 526 8th Avenue South (adjacent to the Room in the Inn campus)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

My House Clinic, 442 Metroplex Drive, Building D, Suite 200
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday

Eastside Medical and Dental Clinic, 905 Main Street
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

Walk-ins are welcome.  Appointments can be made with Neighborhood Health by calling 615-227-3000.

The hepatitis A vaccine can also be found at area health care providers in Nashville for those with insurance. Many insurance plans cover the costs of hepatitis A vaccine without a deductible or co-pay, if administered by an in-network health care provider.

Health officials continue to send Health Alerts to health care providers in Nashville about the current hepatitis A outbreak, a reminder about the symptoms, and how they should report cases to MPHD.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Common symptoms include: fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), and clay-colored stools. The disease can be severe in some people, possibly requiring hospitalization. Most recover completely within a few weeks. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also spread from close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill. The best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination.