After a recent Hepatitis A outbreak that affected several states, including West Virginia, the Wheeling -Ohio County Health Department is protecting its first responders.
Wednesday was the first of several Hepatitis A vaccination clinics that will be offered.
They are open to any West Virginia EMS, fire and law enforcement, both volunteer or paid.
The vaccination is free.
First responders must bring proof of employment and identification.
According to the West Virginia DHHR’s website, as of July 6th there have been 451 cases of Hepatitis A with this outbreak and one death, but none of those cases were in Ohio County.
Law enforcement said that because their jobs are so unpredictable, it never hurts to be prepared.
“It good that they had this available to us,” said Corporal Douglas Somerville with the Wheeling Police Department. “You never know what we’re gonna encounter in this day and age and just having stuff like this, and assistance with all of this is really great.”
Additional Hepatitis A vaccination clinics will be held on July 18 and 25 at the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, which is on th first floor of the City/County building.
Those clinics will be held from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Anyone can get Hepatitis A, so clinics are being held at other health departments across the state as well.
Those most at risk include the homeless, those who use illicit or recreational drugs, have sexual contact with someone who has Hepatitis A or live in countries where the disease is common.
It can be spread by touch or eating food that someone infected has handled, sharing needles or other drug paraphernalia or not washing your hands after cleaning up human waste.
For more information about the vaccination clinics, call the health department at 304-234-3682