Hepatitis Vaccines Urged For Travelers To Kentucky

ASHLAND, KY (WCHS BY: GIL McCLANAHAN) — While summer travelers heading to Kentucky are being advised to get a Hepatitis A vaccine, it doesn’t seem to be keeping them away.

“Rush Off Road over the weekend just had their big spring extravaganza and that draws usually from 7,000 -10,000 people,” said Sue Dowdy, executive director of the Ashland/Boyd County Tourism and Convention Center.

Dowdy said no one has called her office asking about the hepatitis outbreak.

“I thought maybe we would get a few last week, particularly when it first occurred and became kind of well-known, but we haven’t not had any,” Dowdy said.

Area restaurants are making sure they are free of any signs of hepatitis a for summer travelers and other customers.

“We take extra precautions,” said Ryan Justice, owner of JJ’s Family Restaurant in Ashland. “We’re more mindful of what we are doing to make sure good hand washing techniques are used. If you feel sick, call off.”

Justice said he has seen a boost in business since the outbreak, but he acknowledges it did cause concern.
“Initially, there was some nervousness there, but with the education the health department has given us and precautions we’re taking we are very confident that we will be taking every precaution to make sure everyone stays healthy,” Justice said.

Dowdy is hopeful things will be taken care of before peak season begins.

“I’m hoping that by Memorial Day the situation has resolved itself, that the scare is over and that we can continue on the summer with lots of visitors and no more outbreaks,” Dowdy said.

For more information on Hepatitis in A, visit: https://chfs.ky.gov/dph/hepatitis.htm

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