ADH: Hep A outbreak grows to 80, with one death

ADH: Hep A outbreak grows to 80, with one death

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Health reports the number of Hepatitis A cases has grown to 80, including one death.

The ADH announced Tuesday an employee of the Little Caesar's Pizza, 1731 West Kingshighway in Paragould, tested positive for the virus.

The department also stated in the news release that the outbreak has claimed the life of at least one person. Region 8 News has requested more information on the death, including where it occurred.

The ADH urges anyone who ate at the Little Caesar's Paragould restaurant between July 19 and Aug. 2 to get vaccinated immediately. Hep A vaccination clinics will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 9-10, at the Paragould Community Center, 3404 Linwood Dr. Additional clinics will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 16-17, at Eastside Baptist Church, 529 East Court St. The vaccine will be provided to the public at no cost.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek care immediately, the health department stated. Typical symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Since February, 80 cases of Hep A have been reported in Northeast Arkansas, including one death. Greene County, according to ADH, has had the most cases. Other cases have been reported in Clay, Craighead, Greene, Independence, Lawrence, Mississippi, and Randolph.

Risk factors for getting Hep A include:

  • Close contact with someone who has Hep A
  • Being a food worker
  • Using drugs, whether injected or not
  • Experiencing homelessness, transient, or unstable housing
  • Being recently incarcerated

Should you get vaccinated for Hepatitis A? Can it be prevented? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these fact sheets to answer all your questions.

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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