Health Department Reports Increase In Hepatitis A Cases

Residents Urged To Protect Themselves Through Vaccination And Hygiene

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department is experiencing a higher than normal number of cases of Hepatitis A Virus (HAV). Typically, about one case a year is reported to the Department, yet since early May 2018, four cases have been reported. In light of the current Hepatitis A outbreak in Middle Tennessee, and other similar outbreaks in several other states, the Health Department wants residents to know actions it is taking to prevent the spread of the disease.

At this point, the specific actions taken by the Health Department are to investigate the current cases, to monitor for new cases, to educate the community on how the disease is spread and how it can be prevented, and to conduct a vaccination program for high risk individuals.

“Hepatitis A is a contagious, vaccine-preventable liver infection,” said Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department Health Officer Dr. Valerie Boaz. “Hepatitis A usually spreads by the fecal-oral route through ingestion of contaminated food or drinks, close person-to-person contact with an infected person, and sexual contact with an infected person.”

The best way to prevent contracting or spreading the disease is to get the Hepatitis A vaccine along with good hand hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and warm water after going to the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food. Also, avoid using recreational drugs.

Although anyone can get the disease, people most at risk for Hepatitis A infection in this multi-state outbreak include those experiencing homelessness, people who use drugs recreationally, and men who have sex with men. Anyone with these risk factors is eligible to receive free Hepatitis A vaccine at any of the Health Department locations, Monday-Friday8 a.m.-4 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

Clinic Locations:

  • Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, 921 East 3rd Street, Chattanooga TN, 37403, 423-209-8340
  • Birchwood Health Center, 5625 Hwy 60, Birchwood TN, 37308, 423-961-0446
  • Homeless Health Care Center, 730 East 11th St, Chattanooga TN 37403, 423- 265-5708
  • Ooltewah Health Center, 5520 High St, Ooltewah TN, 37363, 423-238-4269
  • Sequoyah Health Center, 9527 West Ridge Trail Rd, Soddy Daisy TN, 37379, 423-842-3031

For more information about the disease, you may call the Epidemiology section at 209-8190, or visit cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav.  



CHI Memorial Medical Group Hires Gynecologist Emily Evitt, M.D.

CHI Memorial Medical Group announces Emily Evitt, M.D., has joined CHI Memorial Women’s Health Associates.  Dr. Evitt received her medical degree from University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis.  She completed an internship and residency at Atlanta Medicine Center.  Dr. Evitt is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is ... (click for more)

Alexander Says “Black Box” On Health Care Costs Makes It Hard For Americans To Be Smart Consumers

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander on Tuesday said, “the cost of health care has remained in a black box.”   He said, “Secretary Azar recently told the story of his doctor ordering a routine echo cardio stress test. He was sent down the street and admitted to the hospital, where, after considerable effort on his part, he learned the test would ... (click for more)

Mother Of 15-Year-Old Killed By His Father Said McElrath Had Been Acting "Manic"

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who was killed by his father said Michael McElrath had been acting "manic" in the days leading up to the tragic incident in Hixson on Aug. 18. Judge Alex McVeigh bound a charge of criminal homicide against McElrath, a former jail officer, to the Grand Jury. He is charged in the death of Dylan McElrath, who was a sophomore at Hixson High School. ... (click for more)

Fire Causes $250,000 In Damage To Home On Signal Mountain

Fire damaged a home on Signal Mountain late Tuesday night. At  11:18 p.m., firefighters from Walden’s Ridge Emergency Services (WRES) responded to a house fire on 5011 Anderson Pike. When the first engine arrived on the scene, they reported two vehicles and a portion of the house were on fire. WRES immediately requested a mutual aid response for supporting fire ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (2)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Who Is This ‘New Voice’?

It’s easy for me to say that I either know, or know about, almost every person running in November for the state legislature. Yet when I describe Lemon Williams as the most exciting of the bunch, that’s because he's the only guy I had never heard of when he picked up his qualifying papers. He just turned out the best political aspirant I have had a conversation with in the last ... (click for more)