The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stepping in to help the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health track data and investigate a 2018 Hepatitis A outbreak.
The DHHR reports that as of mid-August, West Virginia has had 975 cases of Hepatitis A in 2018. The majority of these cases have been in Kanawha followed by Putnam counties. Therefore, the CDC will focus its efforts in these areas as well.
In in a press release, the DHHR says that the CDC assistance was requested at the direction of Governor Jim Justice. The CDC will station six subject matter experts to manage the outbreak this week.
Those experts will focus mostly on data management, data quality, case investigation strategies and procedures. The outbreak has mostly occurred from early March through today with a spike in outset symptoms the first week of July.
The DHHR website says the outbreak has largely been seen among injection and non-injection drug users, as well as people experiencing homelessness, transient individuals, and those who have been recently incarcerated.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.