DEVELOPING: Sullivan Co. Health Dept. administers 1,300 hepatitis A vaccines

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- News Channel 11 confirmed  Wednesday evening that officials at the Sullivan County Health Department have administered 1,300 Hepatitis A vaccines.

That number was at 500 vaccines around noon. 

This comes after an employee at the McAlister’s Deli in Kingsport was diagnosed with acute hepatitis A.

Sullivan County Regional Medical Director Dr. Stephen May says anyone who ate at the restaurant from March 11-27 should consider getting the vaccine.

“The probability is low with this type of exposure but we don’t want anyone to get a secondary case,” May said. “If we could get it to those who could have potentially been exposed in two weeks then there is a 95 to 98 percent probability we can prevent that disease.”

Dr. May said there is a Hepatitis A outbreak in Tennessee right now.

“We use to see only two or three cases a year, but as of May of last year, we’re seeing hundreds of cases across the state of Tennessee.”

For customers who ate at McAlister’s any time from March 11-27, Dr. May said those customers have about two weeks to get the shot. 

News Channel 11’s Caroline Corrigan was at the Kingsport Office Wednesday morning where she reported more than 100 people were standing in line.

The health department is offering free hepatitis A vaccines at:

  • Sullivan County Regional Health Department (Main Campus),
    154 Blountville Bypass, Blountville, TN 37617
  • Sullivan County Regional Health Department (Kingsport Office),
    1041 East Sullivan Street, Kingsport, TN 37660

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). People can become ill 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.

For more information, visit sullivanhealth.org, or call 423-279-2777.

McAlister’s Deli reopened for business on Wednesday morning.

News Channel 11’s Caroline Corrigan will have a full report on WJHL at 5 o’clock. 

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