Hepatitis A Outbreak Has Residents Concerned

Local News

Officials are advising West Virginia residents to stay informed about the Hepatitis A epidemic.

Health officials tell 13 News, that Kanawha County leads the state in confirmed Hep-A cases. Cabell County comes in a close second.

On Thursday, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department hosted a town hall forum as part of their “Stop the Spread” Campaign set to begin this month. 

“These outbreaks tend to last one to two years, so its not going anywhere and we probably haven’t even seen the worst of it,” said the Bureau for Public Health’s Shannon McBee. “We just want everyone to be extra aware and safe.” 

McBee says the best thing to do is get vaccinated. Apart from vaccination, the best way to prevent the infection is to practice good hand hygiene. 

One of the most common questions asked at Thursday night’s town hall was if its safe to eat out. 

Health officials tell 13 News that catching Hep-A from a restaurant is highly unlikely. However, many local restaurants, like Charleston favorite — The Smokehouse, are doing their part to make sure customers feel safe. 

Mike and Patty Smithers, owners of the Smokehouse, made Hep-A vaccines mandatory for all employees. 

“I know its going through the back of their minds wondering this and that, said Smithers. “I just want them to know they are safe here.” 

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