Hepatitis A outbreak spreads in Tennessee's largest city

Hepatitis A outbreak spreads in Tennessee's largest city

August 10th, 2018 by Associated Press in Breaking News

An example of a care kit which includes clean syringes, bandages, sterile wipes and a clean cooking container is demonstrated at Chattanooga CARES on Friday, April 6, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Chattanooga CARES has implemented the city's first syringe exchange program, which provides clean syringes in exchange for used needles in an effort to reduce HIV and hepatitis infections among intravenous drug users.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee health officials say at least 74 people have contracted hepatitis A in Nashville since last December.

Nashville's Metro Public Health Department said in a statement on Friday that it continues to work with state and local officials to urge people to get vaccinated in an effort to end the outbreak. The statement says free vaccines for at-risk groups are being offer at three public health centers. Health officials say at-risk groups include drug users, homeless people or men who have sexual contact with other men.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus but it can spread through close contact with an infected person. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and dark urine.

Other states, including Kentucky and West Virginia, have also reported outbreaks.