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Officials: Kentucky's hepatitis A outbreak now worst in US

Posted: 12:44 PM, Jun 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-28 16:44:49Z

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The hepatitis A outbreak in Louisville and other parts of Kentucky is now the worst in the country.

The Courier Journal reports state health officials confirmed Wednesday at least 969 people have contracted the liver disease. State Public Health department Commissioner Dr. Jeff Howard says the outbreak is the worst on record across the nation and in Kentucky.

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Three of the outbreak's six deaths were in Louisville. Louisville Metro Public Health department spokesman Dave Langdon says officials confirmed 482 cases.

The virus was first detected in Louisville last fall and can be spread through contact with surfaces, food or drinks contaminated by feces from an infected person.

MORE: How you can protect yourself from hepatitis A outbreak

The disease mostly affects drug users and homeless people, and officials are working to get funding for vaccines and coordinate with local agencies.