A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

CHFS networking event ‘Helping Us Build’ an effort to increase collaboration in harm reduction services

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) held a networking event, “Helping Us Build,” at the Kentucky History Center this week. It was an effort to increase collaboration and efficiency in the delivery of harm reduction services. “We needed to find how could we collaborate further and find additional synergy between all the good work that is being done,” explained Dr. Connie White,...

Hepatitis A outbreaks shadowing growing opioid epidemic as number of cases rises across country

By Laura Ungar Kaiser Health News AKRON, Ohio — Just before the Fourth of July, Trenton Burrell began feeling run-down and achy. Soon he could barely muster the energy to walk from one room to another. A friend shared an alarming observation: “You’re turning yellow.” Within days, the 40-year-old landed in the hospital, diagnosed with the highly contagious liver virus hepatitis A, which in Ohio...

State health department sending nurses to jails, shelters, treatment centers with Hepatitis A vaccine

Kentucky Health News The state Department for Public Health has sent a team of nurses to give hepatitis A vaccinations at county jails, state probation-and-parole offices, homeless shelters, treatment centers and drug stores, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced in a press release. “Since April, the team has provided more than 2,100 vaccines at 40 different sites,” the release...

Hepatitis outbreak on the decline in Ky; 57 have died across the Commonwealth as result of the disease

The good news about hepatitis in Kentucky is that the number of hepatitis A cases is dropping. The bad news is that there are still as many cases each week as were once seen in a year’s time, and the state is by the far the leader in deaths from the liver disease. According to the state’s weekly report, the number of hepatitis A cases in Kentucky has dropped to around 20 per week for several...

Health department issues alert about Hepatitis A threat if you ate at Roosters on April 16

An employee at Roosters, 124 Marketplace Dr., has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of hepatitis A. As a result, customers who ate at the restaurant on April 16, 2019, may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus and are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination. While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant customers to become infected with the hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler,...

University of Kentucky, Department for Public Health collaboration aims to eliminate new HIV infections

A collaborative program aimed at preventing new HIV infections in Kentucky, as well as expanding education and care for persons living with HIV, is being launched in Northern Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth. In 2018, there were 352 new HIV cases diagnosed in Kentucky with 46 of the cases in the Northern Kentucky Area Development District (ADD), where the rate of infection has doubled since...

State officials defend handling of hepatitis A outbreak in wake of additional warnings, legislators concerns

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News State Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Adam Meier called a news conference on March 1 to discuss the state’s hepatitis A outbreak and spent most of the time criticizing news-media coverage, mainly the Louisville Courier Journal’s investigation that revealed state health officials had rejected expert advice to mount a stronger response. Since...

LFCHD warning residents after employee at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken confirmed with Hep A

An employee at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, 321 E. Vine St., has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of hepatitis A. As a result, customers who ate at the restaurant from Jan. 23-Feb. 8, 2019, may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus and are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination. While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant customers to become infected with the hepatitis A virus...

DPH continues to promote Hepatitis A vaccination; statewide outbreak continues, more deaths reported

People who are considered high risk for exposure to the Hepatitis A virus should get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid contracting the virus and lessen the spread of the disease. High risk groups include individuals who use illicit drugs, close contacts of illicit drug users, and homeless people. The Department for Public Health (DPH) is making this recommendation as part of its efforts to respond...

LFCHD warning customers of three area restaurants about risk of exposure to hepatitis A

Customers who ate at three area restaurants in November may have been exposed to hepatitis A. As a result, anyone who ate at the following restaurants are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination: • Hardee’s, 2990 Richmond Road, Lexington; Nov. 23-26, 2018 • Waffle House, 2347 Buena Vista, Lexington; Nov. 11-19, 2018 • Waffle House, 4 Carol Road, Winchester; Nov. 20, 2018 While it is relatively...

Health department confirm Hepatitis A in Lexington restaurant employee; get a vaccination

An employee of Frisch’s located at 1927 Harrodsburg Road has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of Hepatitis A. As a result, customers who ate at the restaurant from Oct. 10-28 may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus and are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination. While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant customers to become infected with the Hepatitis A virus due to an infected...

Franklin County records 22nd case of Hepatitis A; fast food restaurant closes voluntarily for cleaning

Kentucky Health News A Frankfort fast-food restaurant closed for cleanup after one of its employees was found to have the liver disease hepatitis A, usually caused by ingestion of fecal material. “The risk of infection from this food-service worker is very low due to hand-hygiene requirements at Hardee’s and all eating establishments,” Franklin County Health Department Director Judy Mattingly...

Northern Kentucky joins statewide Hepatitis A outbreak, Newport Syndicate food handler diagnosed

A case of hepatitis A that has been diagnosed in an employee who handled food at the Newport Syndicate (18 East 5th Street, Newport). An investigation found that this employee worked for a period of time when he/she was ill or infectious, which included the dates of July 25 through Aug. 11, 2018. While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant patrons to become infected with the hepatitis A virus due...

Kentucky’s Hepatitis outbreak worst in nation, but fading in Louisville, the ‘gold standard’ for response

Kentucky’s hepatitis A outbreak is now the biggest outbreak in the United States. As of July 7, the outbreak had struck 65 of Kentucky’s 120 counties with 1,094 hepatitis A cases and eight deaths. But federal officials say Louisville is a national example for how to respond to an outbreak, reports Phillip M. Bailey of the Courier Journal. As of July 17, Louisville had 540 cases and four deaths....

Hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky worst ever — over 900 cases confirmed, six deaths — and it isn’t over

Kentucky Health News State health officials say the hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky is the worst ever, and the crisis isn’t over. “It’s the worst on record across the nation and in Kentucky,” Dr. Jeff Howard, Kentucky Commissioner of Public Health, told Beth Warren of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Kentucky health officials have confirmed 969 cases and six deaths from...

NKY Health Department launches hepatitis A prevention plan in wake of state’s declared outbreak

The Northern Kentucky Health Department (NKY Health) has initiated efforts to prevent the statewide spread of Hepatitis A from expanding to the region. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus. Dr. Saddler When infected, the liver becomes inflamed or damaged and does not work properly. Although rare, death can occur from this infection. The Kentucky Department for Public...

Ten Kentucky counties under outbreak status for Hepatitis A; 629 cases reported since November

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Hepatitis A outbreak has become a concern for people because the virus is so rare, yet 10 counties in Kentucky are currently under outbreak status and will receive extra funds for vaccines, a state official said. 
Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey Howard provided an update on the situation Thursday on Facebook Live with the heavily traveled Memorial Day...

As hepatitis A outbreak continues, state health officials say vaccine is best way to protect yourself

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Since state officials declared an outbreak of hepatitis A in November, Kentucky has had 577 confirmed cases of it. That’s almost 30 times the state’s average of about 20 cases a year, and five of those 577 people have died from the liver disease. The most common prescription for preventing hepatitis is hand washing, but the absolute best way to avoid...

Three Hepatitis A deaths; CDC recommends vaccinations for children in affected counties

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Three deaths are being blamed on the hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky, according to the Department of Public Health.   
Through April 14, the Kentucky Department of Public Health confirmed 352 outbreak-associated cases, leading to 246 hospitalizations and three deaths. 
State health officials are recommending vaccinations for residents in six Kentucky counties affected...

Dept. for Public Health recommends Hepatitis A vaccination for at-risk counties in Kentucky

Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties.   To date, 214 cases have been reported in the Jefferson County/Louisville area. Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties have each reported...