LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Wednesday afternoon, the Indiana State Department of Health reported the state's first death related to the recent hepatitis A outbreak.

According to a news release, the outbreak has caused nearly 4,000 illnesses in 10 states, and resulted in several fatalities nationwide. Since Nov. 2017, the health department has confirmed 214 outbreak-related cases of hepatitis A. Officials say the state normally sees about 20 cases in a 12-month period.

"This heartbreaking loss of life illustrates how serious this outbreak is, and I urge Hoosiers to practice good handwashing and to get vaccinated, especially if they fall into a high-risk population," said Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box, in a statement. "We are working with our local and federal health partners to slow the spread of hepatitis A in our state, but this disease is highly contagious and can spread rapidly, so prevention is critical."

The health department declined to release additional information about the patient, citing privacy laws.

Copyright 2018 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.