NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Hepatitis A outbreak has reached a total of 34 confirmed cases in Nashville.
The cases were reported and confirmed between December 2017 and June 27 2018.
Officials with the Metro Public Health Department said they continue to work with the Tennessee Department of Health as well as other Metro Departments and community organizations in response to the outbreak.
“Metro Public Health Department staff, working with multiple community partners, continues to plan additional opportunities to offer the hepatitis A vaccine to the at-risk communities,” said Rachel Franklin, Interim Director of Communicable Disease and Emergency Preparedness. “This week we added three vaccination clinics to reach people experiencing homelessness. Our staff vaccinated nearly 200 among the at-risk group at last weekend’s PRIDE Festival and we are planning additional locations to offer the vaccine in the coming weeks to reach the MSM community.”
The Health Department has worked with the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission staff on a hepatitis A vaccine campaign to reach the homeless.
That initial vaccination effort began June 18 and will run through July 6.
The Health Department added three additional locations since last week, including the Room in the Inn and the Nashville Rescue Mission. The homeless outreach is in addition to the ongoing vaccination efforts at MPHD clinics and Neighborhood Health clinics.
The Health Department worked with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office to offer hepatitis A vaccine at all DCSO facilities after four cases of hepatitis A were confirmed among DCSO inmates three weeks ago. Health officials offered hepatitis A vaccine to inmates housed in DCSO facilities, as well as DCSO public safety staff. MPHD and DCSO are working on a plan to offer hepatitis A vaccine when a person in custody enters a DCSO facility.
As a result of the confirmed cases, all DCSO inmates will undergo a screening prior to being taken to any scheduled appointments or court dates. If they are found to have any signs or symptoms, they will be isolated and will not leave the facility until they have been cleared by medical staff.
MPHD is working with TDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on testing specimens collected from those confirmed as having hep A. MPHD has received confirmation from the CDC that genotype test results from one of the samples in Nashville matched the strain of hepatitis A found in the recent outbreaks around the country.
MPHD continues to offer free hepatitis A vaccine at all three of its Health Centers to the three risk groups. MPHD continues to receive additional doses of hepatitis A vaccine from TDH and more vaccine is available as needed.
MPHD operates three health centers open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday:
East Health Center, 1015 East Trinity Lane
Lentz Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Ave.
Woodbine Health Center, 224 Oriel Ave
An agreement with Neighborhood Health has been established to provide hepatitis A vaccine to those in the three at-risk groups. Neighborhood Health locations and hours of operation are as follows:
Downtown Clinic, 526 8th Avenue South (adjacent to the Room in the Inn campus) 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Madison Clinic, 601 W. Due West Avenue 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday
My House Clinic, 442 Metroplex Dr. Building D, Suite 200 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday
Walk-ins are welcome.
Appointments can be made with Neighborhood Health by calling (615) 227-3000.
MPHD has hepatitis A vaccine available for children and adults. Since 2006, the CDC has recommended all young children routinely be vaccinated against hepatitis A, and the vaccine has been required for daycare and kindergarten entry in Tennessee since 2011. All children under 19 years old who do not have private insurance coverage for vaccines, including uninsured and TennCare-eligible children, may be vaccinated through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program by their health care provider or at any local health department. The cost for vaccine is $40 for children not eligible for the VFC program who are 18 years old and younger.
The vaccine can also be found at area health care providers in Nashville for those with insurance. Many insurance plans cover the costs of hepatitis A vaccine without a deductible or co-pay, if administered by an in-network health care provider.