Team of nurses battle hepatitis A across Kentucky as cases decrease

Published: Jul. 12, 2019 at 6:32 PM EDT
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Since April, a team of nurses has been doing their part to fight hepatitis A in Kentucky.

the team has administered more than 21,000 vaccines so far since the outbreak began.

Though officials say the number of hepatitis A cases is dropping, they still stress caution.

"Still want to stress the importance of providing vaccines to anybody that has not been vaccinated," said Jill Keys, Clinical Services Officer at the Lexington-Fayette County Public Health Department. "It affects the liver that can cause some severe GI and stomach problems. It's something that makes you pretty sick from several weeks to several months."

The Kentucky outbreak began in 2017. Since then, more than 4,000 people were diagnosed with the disease. At least 58 people have died.

These nurses traveled across the state, fighting the statistics, especially at detention facilities.

"They're in close proximity. When you're in a confined space it can spread," said Keys.

Officials recommend getting the vaccine, as anyone can get the virus.

"It's a two-dose series. The doses are separated from six to 12 months. It is a lifetime immunity once you have two doses," said Keys.

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