NASHVILLE, TN — Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) officials have confirmed 171 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Nashville since December 2017. Work continues to reach three at-risk groups. Those at greatest risk of exposure to hepatitis A include:
• People who use drugs (not just injection drug use)
• Men who have sexual contact with men
• Individuals experiencing homelessness
The Health Department continues to lead a hepatitis A vaccine campaign, along with community partners and the Tennessee Department of Health. The Health Department and our community partners have vaccinated more than 9,100 people in Nashville since the outbreak was announced in late May. The total vaccinated does not include vaccine given by private providers.
Health Officials Respond to
Restaurant Worker with Hepatitis A
Metro Public Health Department officials opened a special hep A vaccine clinic January 3 at the Lentz Health Center after an employee working at the Outback Steakhouse Restaurant Rivergate, located at 1560 Gallatin Pike N, Madison 37115, was diagnosed with acute hepatitis A. The restaurant employee worked at the restaurant while symptomatic December 22 – 24, 2018.
The special clinic at the Lentz Public Health Center will be open on the following dates and times to those who dined at that location on December 22nd – 24th. The potential exposure occurred only at Outback Steakhouse Restaurant’s Rivergate location. Individuals who dined at the restaurant on those dates have until January 7th to be vaccinated.
Hepatitis A Vaccination Clinic, Lentz Public
Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Ave., Nashville
• January 4th – 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
• January 5th from — 10am – 2 p.m.
• January 7th – 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Vaccination initiatives will continue in an effort to end the months-long outbreak, including working with organizations that serve the homeless, reaching out to the LGBTQ community, working with the Davidson County Sherriff’s Office to vaccinate DCSO inmates, and efforts to reach those who use drugs.
Large hepatitis A outbreaks have occurred since early 2017 in several states, including ongoing outbreaks in California, Utah, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia, spreading from person to person primarily among people who are homeless and people who are drug users.
MPHD has worked with TDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on testing specimens collected from those confirmed as having hepatitis A. CDC test results from samples in Nashville match 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 Department 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 am-4 pm, Monday through Friday:
East Health Center, 1015 East Trinity Lane
Lentz Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Avenue
Woodbine Health Center, 224 Oriel Avenue
MPHD has an agreement with Neighborhood Health 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 a.m. to 10 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 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday
Cayce Clinic, 617 South 8th St. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
Cleveland Park Medical & Dental Clinic, 1223 Dickerson Pike, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Eastside Medical & Dental Clinic, 905 Main St.
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Napier Medical & Dental Clinic, 107 Charles E. Davis Blvd., 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, Walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can be made with Neighborhood Health by calling (615) 227-3000.
The hepatitis A 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.
MPHD has been sending Health Alerts to health care providers in Nashville about the current hepatitis A outbreak, a reminder about the symptoms, and how they should report cases to MPHD.
MPHD has initiated a community awareness campaign focusing on outbreak updates and steps to follow to prevent exposure to hepatitis A. Updates and prevention messaging, such as the importance of hand washing and the use of a vaccine to protect against the virus for those at risk, can be found at www.health.nashville.gov.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Common symptoms include: fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), and clay-colored stools. The disease can be severe in some people, possibly requiring hospitalization. Most recover completely within a few weeks. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also spread from close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill. The best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination.