The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources says that the person was a 33-year-old man with significant comorbidities that contributed to the death. Because of the high incidence of drug use reported in West Virginia and among the food industry, this is a proactive measure to vaccinate a high-risk group in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
An official cause of death has not been released.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus.
As Kentucky continues to battle an outbreak of acute hepatitis A, the state Department for Public Health is spending about $340,000 to provide 10 counties, including Jefferson, with a total of 10,000 doses of vaccine, according to the department.
FRANKFORT- To help aid the Hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky, officials with the Kentucky Department of Public Health announced on Thursday that they will be giving out 10,000 vaccinations to 10 counties hit with the disease.
West Virginia is in the midst of both a local and national hepatitis A outbreak. The disease is typically spread when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or beverages contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from a person who's infected. The cases are in eight different counties.
Earlier this week, similar vaccination clinics were held for Kanawha County employees, first responders and others at the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority.
In nearby Kentucky, 2018 has seen three hepatitis A-related deaths, according to previous media reports.
In addition to Jefferson, the counties getting vaccine are Boyd, Bullitt, Carter, Greenup, Hardin, McCracken, Meade, Montgomery and Warren, according to the state.
While most of the attention has been focused on food workers in the Louisville area who contracted the disease, Dr. Howard says there have been no cases linked to food contamination.
Young children are routinely recommended for the hepatitis A vaccine beginning at age one.