Hepatitis A Outbreaks Nationwide!

TUCSON, AZ

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) – Pima County is seeing an increase in hepatitis A cases, climbing to 20 so far for 2019, surpassing annual totals for four of the last five years.

The Pima County Health Department is urging all people at risk, especially those experiencing homelessness and those that are using (or trying to quit using) illegal drugs, to get vaccinated against hepatitis A.

According to the county health department since Nov. 1, 2018 when investigators believe the outbreak began, there have been 34 cases linked to the outbreak, with 27 of those cases resulting in hospitalization.

Although the hepatitis A vaccine is routinely given to children as part of the recommended vaccination schedule, most adults have not been vaccinated. Anyone can receive the vaccine but it is especially recommended for people who:

  • are experiencing homelessness
  • use injection and non-injection illicit drugs
  • are traveling to countries where hepatitis A is common
  • have been recently incarcerated
  • live with, or have sex with, someone who has hepatitis A
  • have chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis, alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • Men who have sex with men

HAV vaccine is readily available at doctor’s offices, health clinics, and pharmacies. People who cannot pay for vaccinations or who do not have health insurance should contact the Health Department or a community health clinic near them. Places to get vaccinated can be found at www.pima.gov/hep-a

SAVANNAH, GA (Potential)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (Coastal Health District) – A case of hepatitis A has been diagnosed in a food handler at Gryphon Tea Room located in downtown Savannah. An investigation found that this employee worked while ill on January 2, 5, 8, 10 and 12.

It is relatively rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, but anyone who consumed food or drink at the Gryphon Tea Room on the above dates should contact their healthcare provider to determine if a hepatitis A immunization is needed to prevent the disease.

Anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant on the dates that employee worked is also asked to:

1. Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.

2. Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.

3. Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.

Louisiana (December Update)

In mid-December, the Louisiana Department of Health declared an outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV). At that time, a couple dozen outbreak cases were reported.

 

COLORADO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The homeless in El Paso and Pueblo counties are among a group of high-risk individuals being asked by health officials to get free shots containing the hepatitis A vaccine.

Officials said confirmed cases, usually numbering only a few annually, began spiking last fall.

“We’ve had 11 cases in El Paso County,” said Kimberly Pattison, program manager for communicable disease at El Paso County Public Health.  “We’ve had about 13 vaccination clinics that we set up.”

There’s also one in LA, CALIFORNIA and LAS VEGAS, NEVADA… 

lol look at the little asian guy that come up on the Google disease fact-card 

 

h/t Mr. Royal

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