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Health officials: Hepatitis A spreading at rate of one new case per day

Health officials in Lexington say the Hepatitis A virus is spreading at a rate of one new case per day.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Health officials in Lexington say the Hepatitis A virus is spreading at a rate of one new case per day.

The virus continues to have a strong hold across central Kentucky, according to health officials.

Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, Fayette County Health Commissioner, says the virus is spreading much faster than normal.

"We're now up to over 160 cases associated with this particular outbreak here in Lexington alone," Humbaugh said. "When you contrast that with the fact that we normally have a case of Hepatitis A a year, a case a day is so much more."

Last year, several restaurants in Lexington temporarily shut down for cleaning after employees were diagnosed with the virus. The restaurants included, a Hardees, Waffle House, Red State BBQ and Frisch's.

A Clarion Hotel worker and a UK hospital cafeteria employee were also diagnosed with the virus.

The virus affects the liver and is spread when people eat or drink something contaminated with fecal matter from an infected person, health officials say.

Officials are urging people to get vaccinated, and to wash your hands after using the restroom and before preparing food.

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