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Increase in Hepatitis A Cases in Sedgwick County

Hepatitis A cases among Sedgwick County residents are increasing. Since May 2020, Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) has received reports of more than 70 cases, with more than half of cases reporting a history of intravenous drug use. In all of 2019, four hepatitis A cases were reported.

Cases have presented to local emergency departments. Some people who are ill may not seek treatment. Providers should report all confirmed or suspected hepatitis A cases to SCHD by calling the Epidemiology Hotline at 316-660-5555 (press 1 for medical provider) or completing an online report at https://ssc.sedgwickcounty.org/NotifiableDisease/.

Symptoms and Exposures

Hepatitis A patients may present with acute viral hepatitis with fever, headache, malaise, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or dark urine. A public health confirmed case also includes the following:

a. Jaundice or elevated total bilirubin levels ≥ 3.0 mg/dL, OR
b. Elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels >200 IU/L, AND
c. Absence of a more likely diagnosis

Hepatitis A is more common among men who have sex with men (MSM), people who use drugs (injection or non-injection), people experiencing homelessness, and international travelers.

Vaccination

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is vaccination with the two-dose series of hepatitis A vaccine. Immune globulin (IG) is available for short-term protection (approximately 3 months) against hepatitis A.

People exposed to hep­atitis A within the previous 14 days should be given a single dose of hepatitis A vaccine. Both vaccine and IG should be given to immunocompromised people and to people who have chronic liver disease. If vaccinations are provided to contacts of people diagnosed with hepatitis A, contact SCHD at 316-660-5555 so that mitigation efforts can be documented. Sedgwick County Health Department is working with drug treatment centers and homeless providers to immunize populations recommended to receive the hepatitis A vaccine.

References:
CDC- Hepatitis A https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/index.htm

Detailed guidelines for hepatitis A vaccination are available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/hepa/default.htm#vacc

MMWR: Prevention of Hepatitis A Virus Infection in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2020 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/rr/rr6905a1.htm

MMWR: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Hepatitis A Vaccine for Postexposure Prophylaxis and for Preexposure Prophylaxis for International Travel. 2018

Influenza (Flu) Surveillance

If you are a provider who has a suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19), please contact the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Epidemiology hotline at 1-877-427-7317 immediately. 

Free flu vaccinations are available for uninsured adults, uninsured children, children covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid (Aetna, Sunflower, or United Healthcare). These vaccinations are administered at the Main Clinic, 2716 W. Central, Wichita. Please call (316) 660-7300 to make an appointment.

Flu vaccines are recommended for anyone six months or older, unless otherwise directed by a physician. It is important to get a flu vaccination every year, as flu strains differ year to year. Sedgwick County wants to remind residents that flu vaccinations protect the person receiving it as well as others who are not able to receive this type of immunization.

Influenza (flu) is a viral infection of the nose, throat, bronchial tubes, and lungs caused by influenza viruses. There are different strains of the flu that can change annually. The best way to prevent flu is to get an annual influenza vaccination (flu shot). Other ways to prevent the spread of disease include washing hands frequently in hot water and soap; coughing and sneezing into an elbow instead of hands; eating healthy foods; getting plenty of rest; and staying home when ill.

For more information, please view the Sedgwick County Influenza and Cold versus Flu fact sheets [English][Spanish]

For more information on flu in Kansas, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Influenza Surveillance website.

Lead Poisoning Prevention Recipe Book

Lead Poisoning is when lead builds up in the body anywhere from months to years. No amount of lead is safe, especially for kids. Lead Poisoning is more dangerous in children younger than six, because it can affect their mental and physical development. At high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal. Some likely exposures are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings. Contaminated water, soil, and air are other sources of exposure. Adults are also exposed to lead if they work with batteries, do home remodeling, go to a shooting range, or work in auto repair shops.

Some of the common symptoms in children include:

In Sedgwick County the most common causes of exposure are:

Because there is still so much unknown about lead, the best way to mitigate high levels is through diet. A diet that is rich is calcium, vitamin c, and iron will help lower the lead levels in children and adults. Sometimes it might be hard for families to know what foods contain these vitamins and mineral. This is where our recipe book comes in. With the recipe book online and available to the public many families would benefit from this. Our newly edited recipe book provides healthy food options for the whole family. Although the book was created to target families with children who have elevated blood lead levels, it can be used by everyone not just those affected by lead. Sometimes it might be hard to know ways to introduce vegetables to children and with some of the easy to make recipes available via the internet, parents have easier access to them and can bookmark them for future reference.

Please view the Lead Recipe Book here.

For more information, please view the Sedgwick County Blood Lead Fact Sheets for adults and children.

Severe Pulmonary (Lung) Disease Associated with Vaping (Use of E-Cigarette Products)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette or vaping products. As of October 1, 2019, 1,080 lung injury cases and 18 deaths have been reported in 48 states. All cases have had history of using e-cigarette or vaping products. Most cases have reported using THC-containing products.

At this time, the specific chemical(s) causing the lung injuries remains unknown. No single product or substance has been linked to all lung injury cases. The CDC recommends everyone stop using e-cigarette or vaping devices and products, especially those containing THC.

For more information on the outbreak, please visit the CDC website.

Notifiable Disease Investigations

Notifiable Diseases

Read about the epidemiology (disease investigation) program at the Sedgwick County Health Department