Hepatitis A continues to spread across mountain state

Raleigh County
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With two cases of Hepatitis A confirmed in Raleigh County just within the month of November, 59 news is learning more about just how quickly this disease is spreading across West Virginia.

In just two weeks, an employee at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in Beckley and a food service worker employed at Ghent Elementary School were diagnosed with the disease, but they are not alone.

Infection Preventionist, Nancy Edwards, with Raleigh General Hospital confirmed it was an outbreak initially identified in Kanawha County around March. Since then, more than 1,000 cases of Hep A made showed up in southern West Virginia; 85 of those confirmed of people living in Raleigh County.

Edwards said cases are increasing every week and taking precautions daily can help people avoid contracting it.

“Stressing the importance of being vaccinated and doing hand hygiene, people that are in close contact with other individuals that are infected with Hepatitis A need to be vaccinated,” Edwards said.

Raleigh General and Raleigh County Health Department officials are working closely to prevent cases from spreading.

Cheddar’s release the following statement regarding this incident:

“This individual will not be permitted to return to work until being cleared to do so by a physician. Every one of their team members and managers has received the Hepatitis A vaccine.”

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