The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Public Health continues to support communities across West Virginia in response to the ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A and has requested the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) technical assistance. As of August 17, 2018, there have been 975 cases of Hepatitis A in 27 counties identified as outbreak-related. The majority of these cases have occurred in Kanawha and Putnam counties where the CDC will primarily focus its efforts.
“We have been working closely with Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper and its local health department on this outbreak,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “At the direction of Governor Jim Justice, we have requested the CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention provide epidemiological assistance. The CDC will station six subject matter experts to manage this outbreak beginning this week.”
The epidemiological support from the CDC will assist with data management, data quality, and case investigation strategies and procedures. Dr. Gupta embedded the State Epidemiologist onsite at Kanawha-Charleston Health Department on May 9, 2018, along with additional staff to support the outbreak response.
DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health has provided 18,270 doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine totaling more than $769,000 statewide to assist with prevention efforts.