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Report on Cabell hepatitis A cases prompts concerns

July 7, 2018 GMT

A June 30 story by The Herald-Dispatch updating the latest numbers of hepatitis A cases in Cabell County prompted comments from several online readers.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported that the number of confirmed cases in Cabell rose by 40 percent during the prior week to a total of 73 since the outbreak began a few months ago.

Here are some comments from readers:

Greg Bunner: “When did washing hands become so difficult? What are we turning into?”

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Raymond Zelker: “Ask the guests that are spreading it.”

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Mandy Chapman: ”... it isn’t just from the employees. Produce can be contaminated and even with proper washing techniques the bacteria can still survive. Also customers can bring the disease in and when a server refills your drink or touches your menu, they can then contract it.

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Connie Wheaton: “Oh my, I didn’t even think about customers, but you’re right! Been 2 weeks today since my 1st vaccination, but looking at this, I don’t think I want to go out to eat anymore! If it is so bad, why doesn’t the Health Dept require food service workers to have their vaccines? Can someone explain?

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Ashley Daniels: “Although many cases have been reported in food service workers, I don’t think there are any confirmed cases of it being transmitted to anyone else via food.”

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Raymond Zelker: “There’s not been that many cases of restaurant workers in Cabell County.”

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Chris Callicoat: ”.. so far there are no cases of restaurant employees passing it on.”

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Lori J. Mills: “It’s all just disgusting. It really shows how people don’t wash their hands or properly clean fruits/veggies!! I quit eating out! I haven’t eaten out since all of this started!!

I always wash produce off!”

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Connie Scragg Cook: “Wash your hands people! It’s not that difficult!”

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Patti Ann Peyton: “Get the Hep A vaccine & the booster ... keep yourself safe!”

Thoughts on smoking ban

Starting July 1, smoking was banned at all Huntington Housing Authority properties, including its more than 600 public housing units, its administrative office, company-owned vehicles, common spaces and grounds.

Some comments from readers:

Anthony Ellis: “Ok this opens up a lot. Now if you trip on the sidewalk, now you can sue since you can’t smoke on the sidewalk. This means the housing claims the property. What happens anyway, you kick them out meaning more homeless people. ... then you get more drug users and dealers. This is by far the worst idea ever. People stay in the house, smoke all day, no problem.”

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Susan Gillette: “As a previous commissioner for the Housing Authority, I was totally in agreement with the smoking ban for two reasons: smoke filtered in all units, even those that didn’t smoke; the cost of turning over a smoking unit was much greater than a non-smoking unit. HHA is going to have a difficult time enforcing the non-smoking ban, but, as always will help the tenants as much as possible. As a previous smoker, I know how hard it is to stop. HHA, I love what you’re doing. Thank you.”

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Jean Jenkins: “I live alone, so who can it hurt??”

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Jamie Christian: The person who has to live in your second hand smoke-filled apartment after you. It’s a pretty standard restriction on tenants living in any rental property.”

Look for more periodic questions in the print edition of The Herald-Dispatch as well as on the newspaper’s Facebook page. And readers are invited to offer comments on any of The Herald-Dispatch’s stories appearing online at www.herald-dispatch.com.