Health News

Number of Hep A cases growing in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - - The Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) Friday confirmed 2 additional cases of Hepatitis A, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 16 since December 2017. 

Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that genotype test results from one of the samples in Nashville matched the strain of hepatitis A found in the recent outbreaks around the country. 

Large hepatitis A outbreaks have occurred since early 2017 in several states, including ongoing outbreaks in California, Utah, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. 

The illness is spread from person to person primarily among people who are homeless and people who use illicit drugs.  

MPHD continues to offer free hepatitis A vaccine at all three Health Centers to the three risk groups.  Based on current confirmed cases, the immediate priority includes men who have sexual contact with men and individuals who use illicit drugs (injection and non-injection).   

MPHD received an initial shipment of 1,000 doses of the hep A vaccine from TDH two weeks ago.  TDH provided an additional 750 doses of vaccine today with more available as needed.   

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

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

An agreement with Neighborhood Health has been established to provide hepatitis A vaccine to those in the three at-risk groups. Neighborhood Health locations and hours of operation are as follows: 

  • 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 
  • Madison Clinic, 601 W. Due West Avenue - 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday 
  • My House Clinic, 442 Metroplex Dr. 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 

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

MPHD has hepatitis A vaccine available for children and adults.  

Since 2006, the CDC has recommended all young children routinely be vaccinated against hepatitis A, and the vaccine has been required for daycare and kindergarten entry in Tennessee since 2011.  

MPHD issued an alert two weeks ago 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. 

MPHD has initiated a community awareness campaign focusing on outbreak updates and steps to follow to prevent exposure to hepatitis A.  Updates and prevention messaging, such as the importance of hand washing and the use of a vaccine to protect against the virus for those at risk, can be found at www.nashville.gov/Health-Department.  

MPHD produced handwashing messages that are currently running on video screens at the Nashville International Airport’s baggage claim area reminding music festival goers about the importance of handwashing to stop the spread of germs. 

 


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