INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has confirmed the state’s first death related to a multi-state outbreak of hepatitis A. According to the ISDH, the outbreak has caused nearly 4,000 illnesses in 10 states and resulted in multiple fatalities nationwide.
“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, M.D., FACOG. “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.”
Over several months, Indiana health officials have been working to educate the public, restaurants, jails, and groups that serve at-risk populations about the outbreak and ways to prevent the disease. ISDH said it has allocated more than $1 million in additional state and federal funds to supply adult vaccine to immunize those who are at risk or who may have come in contact with the disease.