Since September 2018, the Madison County Health Department (MCHD) has been investigating an outbreak of acute hepatitis A virus (HAV). Cases have been infected with HAV strains genetically linked to outbreaks across the United States. Indiana has an average of 20 cases of hepatitis A per 12 month period. While Madison County averages 1-2 cases per 12 month period, currently there are 31 confirmed cases. Madison County is one of several counties experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak, and outbreak-related cases have been confirmed across the state. Transmission occurs person to person through fecal-oral routes or by consuming contaminated food or water; no contaminated commercial food product has been identified. Based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, populations who are homeless, transient, incarcerated or use illicit drugs and their close direct contacts are considered at increased risk of exposure to hepatitis A. Hepatitis A vaccine is available from healthcare providers and pharmacies as routine preventive care. Careful handwashing with soap and running water is also recommended, especially before preparing food. If you believe you have been exposed to hepatitis A or are homeless, use injection or non-injection drugs, were recently incarcerated, or had contact with someone who has hepatitis A, contact MCHD or your healthcare provider about hepatitis A vaccine. Indiana law has required a hepatitis A vaccine for school admission since 2014, and was required for students entering sixth- and 12th-grades in 2018, so many students have already been vaccinated. Hepatitis A prevention: Always wash your hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers and before preparing meals for yourself and others. Do not attend work or school if you are experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A, which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, tiredness, stomach ache, fever, dark-colored (cola) urine, light-colored stool and jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes). Symptoms may take as many as 50 days from exposure to appear. MCHD health officials have been working to educate the public, restaurants, jails, groups that serve homeless populations and those who use illicit drugs about the outbreak and ways to prevent the disease.
For more information: https://www.in.gov/isdh/27791.htm
Donations always appreciated
The HIV/STD/Hepatitis Division provides low-cost, CONFIDENTIAL testing, and treatment to individuals over 13 years old.
HIV and Hepatitis C Testing
Walk-In STD Clinic
Free condoms and educational materials available Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm for individuals over 13 years old.