• Mecklenburg Co. health officials spreading word about hepatitis A awareness

    By: Elsa Gillis

    Updated:

    MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. - The Mecklenburg County Health Department is trying to get the word out as the county continues to deal with a hepatitis A outbreak.

    There have been 13 confirmed cases since April.

    [LINK: Info from Meck. Co. Health Department on Hepatitis A outbreak]

    The most recent patient was diagnosed with the highly contagious liver disease on Tuesday.

    "We continue to have new cases, so we know it's not gone away," County Health Department Director Gibbie Harris said.  "The Hardee's situation happened because of this outbreak."

    [RELATED: Mecklenburg Co. health officials begin biweekly updates after 5 confirmed hepatitis A cases]

    Channel 9 first reported in early June of five confirmed cases. 

    At that time, officials said the general public wasn't at risk.

    [RELATED: Mecklenburg Co. health department wraps up hepatitis A vaccinations following outbreak]

    In late June, a Hardee's worker was diagnosed with the virus and there was a push to have everyone who ate at the west Charlotte restaurant during a certain period vaccinated.

    "The time that the general public's at risk is if we have another situation like we have at Hardee's, and if we have more and more cases of hepatitis A. That's likely to happen again,” Harris said.

    The Mecklenburg County Health Department is hanging banners across Charlotte and putting out messages on social media alerting the public. 

    Harris said a big reason behind the wide outreach is what they're seeing in other parts of the country.

    "Kentucky has had over 800 cases, many of those have been hospitalized, there have been some deaths, we don't want them in Mecklenburg," Harris said.

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