Hep A cases increasing in Scioto County

Staff Report

Scioto County continues to see an uptick in cases of Hepatitis A in keeping with the ongoing tri-state outbreak in Kentucky, West Virginia and throughout Ohio.

Scioto County currently has 19 confirmed cases of Hep A. None of these cases involve a food worker and none are related to food borne transmission.

Portsmouth City Health Department Medical Director, David Byers stresses while there has been a significant increase in the number of cases throughout our region over the past few months, the numbers are now on the rise in Scioto County. As a result, it is important for high- risk groups continue to seek vaccinations and that the community is aware the vaccine remains readily available from a variety of sources.

Groups at a higher risk for contracting Hepatitis A include:

– Men who have sex with other men

– Individuals who use illegal drugs

– Those with chronic liver disease such as Hepatitis B or C

– Homeless individuals

The Portsmouth City and Scioto County Health departments are reminding anyone who still wishes to receive the Hep A vaccine they can do so at the Scioto County Health Department.

Scioto County has both adult and juvenile vaccinations available. They accept most insurance/ Medicaid plans and have some stock available for those without insurance. Walk-ins are welcome, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Direct questions to the health department at (740) 355-8358. They are in Room 211 of the County Courthouse, 602 Seventh St.

Located at 605 Washington St., the Portsmouth City Health Department has vaccine available for children 18 and under with Medicaid. Please call (740) 353-5153 with any questions.

Individuals also can contact their primary care doctor or any local pharmacy to inquire about receiving the vaccine. If you are concerned you may have contracted Hepatitis A or have general questions, you can contact Molly Davis, regional epidemiologist for Scioto and several surrounding counties at (740) 354-8931.

To learn more about Hepatitis A follow this link to the Ohio Department of Health Infectious Disease Control Manual to view the Fact Sheet: www.odh.ohio.gov/pdf/IDCM/hepa.pdf.

The health department reminds residents emergency rooms do not provide Hep A vaccinations.

Staff Report