Hepatitis A case confirmed at Lexington elementary school

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.

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