June 12, 2018

CDC issues hepatitis A alert

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 11 issued a Health Advisory on investigations of hepatitis A outbreaks in multiple states in people reporting drug use and/or homelessness and their contacts. From January 2017 to April 2018, the CDC has received more than 2,500 reports of hepatitis A infections spread through person-to-person contact.

The Advisory alerts public health departments, healthcare facilities, and programs providing services to this population about the outbreaks and provides guidance to help identify and prevent new infections.

This is the largest outbreak since vaccination was recommended for at-risk populations in 1996 and the first large outbreak in homeless Americans.

Among the CDC’s recommendations for healthcare providers:

  • consider hepatitis A in anyone with jaundice and clinically compatible symptoms
  • encourage vaccination for at-risk populations or within 2 weeks of exposure
  • report all diagnosed hepatitis A cases.


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