A listener from California recently asked: “Is there an outbreak of Hepatitis A in the US?

Yes, there is a national outbreak of Hepatitis A with clusters in multiple states.

Hepatitis is an infection or inflammation of the liver. People with hepatitis A often have vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and jaundice.

Hepatitis A is one specific type of hepatitis caused by a virus which is highly contagious. This means that it can be spread by contaminated food, person-to-person, or in large centers such as daycares and prisons.

Since 2016, over 15,000 cases of hepatitis A have been documented. Almost half of those patients required hospitalization. At least 150 people died directly as a result of hepatitis A. A large number of these people were homeless or had other chronic health conditions.

The Hepatitis A vaccine is highly effective. It’s given to children at the 1 year check up. It can be safely given to adults if they are exposed to Hepatitis A, have a high-risk lifestyle, are homeless, or traveling overseas.

 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/outbreaks/2017March-HepatitisA.htm

 

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If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. Dr. Emran and Simple Health Radio do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, consults, or any other information that may be mentioned on this website or radio podcast.

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