The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department reports recent cases of acute hepatitis A occurring in Kanawha and Putnam counties have been linked to an ongoing, multistate Hepatitis A outbreak
Since January, more than 20 cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed in Kanawha and Putnam counties. Prior to this outbreak, Janet Briscoe, KCHD director of epidemiology, called Hepatitis A cases rare in the region.
KCHD recently received notification specimens submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the local investigation match a specific genotype identified in the California and Kentucky outbreaks. The multistate outbreak, for the most part, is occurring in persons who use illicit drugs and who may be homeless or without a permanent residence. The disease spread may also be attributed to the lack of access to proper hygiene or sanitation.