Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports widespread, person-to-person outbreaks of hepatitis A virus infection across the United States. Since June 1, 2019, there has been an increase in the number of outbreak-related hepatitis A cases reported in New York State (excluding New York City). Outbreak-related cases are the result of person-to-person contact with an infected individual. Many cases have occurred among people who use drugs (injection or non-injection), people with unstable housing, and men who have sex with men.

Outbreak-Related Cases Reported Statewide (excluding New York City) as of September 19, 2020:
Number of Counties Reporting Cases:39 Total Cases Reported:379 Total Hospitalizations:255 Total Deaths Statewide:0 Number of Cases Reported this Week:2

Data are provisional and will be updated each Tuesday by 3pm.

Prevention

Hepatitis A can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine. Individuals at greatest risk for acquiring hepatitis A infection or developing serious complications from hepatitis A infection are:

  • People who use drugs (injection or non-injection)
  • People experiencing unstable housing or homelessness
  • Men who have sexual contact with men (MSM)
  • People who are currently or were recently incarcerated
  • People with chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C

High risk groups should be offered the hepatitis A vaccine to prevent or control an outbreak. One dose of single-antigen hepatitis A vaccine has been shown to control outbreaks of hepatitis A and provides up to 95% immunity in healthy individuals for up to 11 years.

Pre-vaccination serologic testing is not required to administer hepatitis A vaccine.Vaccinations should not be postponed if vaccination history cannot be obtained or records are unavailable.

Since June 1, 2019, 8,840 doses of hepatitis A vaccine have been distributed statewide.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Sometimes Hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death. Although this outcome is rare, it occurs more commonly in people older than 50 and people with other liver diseases.

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