An updated news release from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) says 2,000 Tennesseans have now been infected with the virus that causes hepatitis A since the outbreak began last year. It says 13 people in the state have died from the illness, and urges those most at risk to get vaccinated to prevent future infections and deaths.
The outbreak has reached other states as well, including Alabama and Georgia.
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus. It can be transmitted through contact with feces or consumption of contaminated food or water.
Other steps to prevent infection with hepatitis A include washing hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before eating and before preparing or serving food.
Some area health departments are offering free hepatitis A vaccine for people in high-risk groups.
Contact your health care provider or your local health department for more information on preventing hepatitis A.