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Hepatitis A Update

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has declared an outbreak of Hepatitis A virus (HAV) among populations who are homeless and/or use illicit (injection and non-injection) drugs. Please see below for more information.

  1. What is it?
    1. Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness.    
    2. The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person.
    3. Almost everyone recovers fully from hepatitis A with a lifelong immunity. However, a very small proportion of people infected with hepatitis A could die from fulminant hepatitis.
    4. The best prevention against hepatitis A is vaccination and soap and water hand hygiene.

  2. Who is most at risk?
    1. The LA County Department of Health Services recommends a vaccine for persons who are homeless and/or who use illicit drugs and to persons who have frequent close contact with the homeless or drug-using populations. This includes those who handle or serve food or who provide personal care, janitorial, maintenance, or sanitation services to these populations. 

  3. Sources for more information
    1. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/Diseases/HepA.htm
    2. COB MSD Hepatitis A Flyer Ver 1 170925
    3. HepaAInfographic-Eng