News Around the State

Published 12:09 pm Monday, April 23, 2018

State says 3 have died in Ky. hepatitis A outbreak

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials say three deaths have now been reported in a hepatitis A outbreak in six counties.

The number was released Friday, along with a total number of cases of 352, through last Saturday. The state Department of Public Health recommends hepatitis A vaccinations for children older than 1 year and adults living in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties.

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Public Health Acting Commissioner Jeffrey Howard said in a news release that it’s safe to travel to Kentucky and attend the May 5 Kentucky Derby. He said the Centers for Disease Control hasn’t issued any travel restrictions or made any vaccination recommendations for travelers.

The Indiana State Department of Health said this week that residents should be vaccinated and protect themselves from hepatitis A when traveling to states experiencing outbreaks.

Poster series created to highlight 16 Kentucky State Parks

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky State Parks Foundation has announced a poster series that will highlight 16 state parks.

A foundation statement says artists have been commissioned to create the posters for an initiative called Kentucky Parks and Crafts. The first three posters were released Wednesday and illustrate Cumberland Falls State Park, Lake Barkley State Park and White Hall State Park. Other posters will be released over the next five weeks.

The project is a fundraiser for the Kentucky State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to support the state park system.

The posters will be sold for $20 each at gift shops and on the website .

Hepatitis vaccines urged for travelers to Ky., Mich.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials are advising residents to get vaccinated for hepatitis A if their summer plans include visits to Kentucky or Michigan.

The Department of Health says significant outbreaks of the liver-damaging hepatitis A virus have been reported in Kentucky and Michigan.

The agency says Kentucky has seen more than 300 cases of the highly contagious viral infection , most of those in the Louisville area. Michigan has had more than 800 cases, including 25 deaths.

Indiana typically sees less than 20 hepatitis cases each year, but 77 have been confirmed since January.

State Epidemiologist Pam Pontones says getting vaccinated for hepatitis A and thoroughly washing hands when preparing food are “simple, safe and effective ways” to prevent the spread of hepatitis A.

Cooking Channel show visits Hillbilly Days

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Hillbilly Days festival is over for another year, but television viewers will have a chance to see the event this fall.

WYMT-TV reports the Cooking Channel will air an episode of “Carnival Eats” that was filmed last week at the festival in Pikeville.

Host Noah Cappe said he found out about Hillbilly Days while he was filming at other festivals and wanted to check it out. The festival was started by Shriners in 1977, and Cappe said he could immediately sense the festival’s history when he arrived.

Officials said the episode will air in the show’s new season this fall.

Interim Louisville president retained as health affairs head

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The University of Louisville’s interim president was passed over for the permanent position but has received a $100,000 bonus for his leadership during a tumultuous time for the Kentucky school.

The Courier-Journal reports that the university’s board of trustees awarded Greg Postel the bonus Thursday and installed him as executive vice president for health affairs. He will earn his former salary of $950,000 for at least a year.

Postel had filled in for that role after Dr. David Dunn was put on paid leave in 2015 amid an investigation for spending federal money on a private company. Postel later became interim president, as well, weathering an NCAA investigation and a budget crisis, in addition to other scandals.

Neeli Bendapudi will assume the university’s helm next month.