MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Mecklenburg County Public Health is set to begin a vaccination program after five cases and one suspected case of hepatitis A have been confirmed since April.
There have been five confirmed cases since April 20, which is greater than the County’s average annual number.
Since 2012, hepatitis A virus cases have been on the rise in the U.S. Between July 2016 to November 2017, the Centers for Disease control reports 1200 cases have occurred nationally, including 826 hospitalizations and 37 deaths.
Outbreaks have occurred in California, Utah, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, and West Virginia. Due to national trends and the increase in the number of cases locally, the CDC has determined that Mecklenburg County is experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis A.
The best way to prevent hepatitis A is with the hepatitis A vaccine. Public Health is working with medical providers and community partners to educate residents about how to prevent hepatitis A and to encourage vaccination of those most at-risk of contracting the virus.
The most at-risk groups for hepatitis A are:
- Those who are household members, caregivers, or have sexual contact with someone who is infected with hepatitis A
- Men who have sexual encounters with other men
- Those who use recreational drugs, whether injected or not
- Recent travel from countries where hepatitis A is common
- Homeless individuals who do not have easy access to handwashing facilities
Residents with insurance can get the vaccine at their regular health provider’s office. The vaccine is available for free for residents with one of the risks (listed above) at these locations Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.:
- Northwest Health Department – 2845 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte
- Southeast Health Department, 249 Billingsley Rd., Charlotte
Call 704-336-6500 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome.