SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. - The Shelby County Health Department is warning the Mid-South about a hepatitis A outbreak.
Officials said the sickness has impacted more than 1,800 in Tennessee since early 2018.
Ten Tennesseans have died from the illness. In Shelby County, 29 cases have been reported – but no deaths.
Hepatitis A outbreaks are commonly concentrated among vulnerable populations including the incarcerated, those experiencing homelessness, and recreational drug users.
Any unvaccinated person who is exposed to the virus could still develop the illness, according to officials.
A statement from the health department explained, “Hepatitis A is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver and is usually transmitted from person to person through contact with contaminated feces or consumption of contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, weight loss, and yellow skin and eyes.”
The health department is offering free hepatitis A vaccinations to populations at risk. Anyone who thinks they might be at risk can get a vaccination without an appointment at the following health clinics.
- Cawthon Public Health Clinic 1000 Haynes, 38114
- Collierville Public Health Clinic (Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) 167 Washington St., 38017
- Hickory Hill Public Health Clinic 6590 Kirby Center Cove, 38118
- Immunization Clinic 814 Jefferson, Rm. 216, 38105
- Millington Public Health Clinic 8225 Highway 51 North, 38053
- Packer Clinic 814 Jefferson, Room 221, 38105
- Shelby Crossing Public Health Clinic 6170 Macon Road, 38133
- Southland Mall Public Health Clinic 1287 Southland Mall, 38116
“We encourage anyone in the high-risk groups to be vaccinated as soon as possible. The Health Department is conducting outreach vaccination efforts among the vulnerable populations and also partnering with other organizations and health care providers to vaccinate as many at-risk people in Shelby County as possible,” said Health Director Alisa Haushalter.
For more information about hepatitis A, click here.
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