Hep A in Kentucky

Hepatitis A vaccine was recommended for those visiting Louisville for the Kentucky Derby.  Indiana health officials issued the warning in response to the report of almost 300 cases in Jefferson County, home of the Derby.  Although The CDC was not responsible for the warning, they have noted that Hepatitis A infection is up by over 85% from last year.  It may have taken the publicity surrounding the famed horse race to bring the severity of the outbreak to public attention.  Though at least one Kentucky restaurant worker has been identified as positive for Hepatitis A, it is a disease commonly found among the homeless and the drug population and can be traced to poor sanitation.  One Kentucky newspaper complained that the state had been “called a third-world country” by the Indiana Health Officials.

If it takes casting a shade over the state’s biggest tourist event of the year (170,000 people and $400 million in revenue) to bring the outbreak into the limelight, we say, “Giddyup!”