According to press reports, Arkansans state health officials are urging all food service workers in Clay County, as well as people who recently ate at one gas station in particular, to get vaccinated against hepatitis A amid an outbreak that has infected a dozen Arkansans since February.

The latest food service worker to be infected was an employee of a Subway and Flash Market gas station at 105 N. Missouri Ave. in Corning. People who ate at the business between March 30 and Tuesday should seek care immediately if they haven’t been vaccinated, the state Department of Health said in a news release.

In Indiana, health officials in Floyd County say a case of Hepatitis A has been confirmed in a food service employee.

The Floyd County Health Department says the person works at the Taco Bell located at 900 Lafollette Center in Floyds Knobs. That restaurant is about a mile north of Interstate 64 on U.S. 150. Anyone who has eaten at the restaurant between April 1 and April 18 should get the Hepatitis A vaccine before April 30 to reduce the chance of infection.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver and is highly contagious.  People become infected through contact with:

  • Shared syringes used to inject drugs
  • Foods prepared or served by infected persons
  • Stool or blood of infected persons
  • Inanimate objects that may have trace amounts of fecal material from hand contact.

The symptoms, which can vary greatly from severe to none at all, may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Stomach ache
  • Dark (cola) colored urine
  • Light colored stools.

Jaundice, the yellowing of the eyes or skin, may appear a few days after the onset of symptoms.

Persons can become ill 15-50 days after being exposed to the Hepatitis A virus. Most people feel sick for several weeks, but they usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage.

Since January 1, 2017, Utah public health has identified 233 confirmed cases of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection; many among persons who are homeless and/or using illicit drugs. Several cases have been linked by investigation and/or viral sequencing to a national outbreak of hepatitis A involving cases in California and Arizona. Hospitalization rates of less than 40% have been described in previous hepatitis A outbreaks; however, other jurisdictions associated with this outbreak are reporting case hospitalization rates approaching 70%. The high rate of hospitalization may be a result of cases having underlying illnesses (e.g., alcoholism), or a higher rate of hepatitis comorbidities (e.g., hepatitis B or C). In response to the outbreak, public health officials have been working to identify cases and contacts, provide education, and ensure opportunities for vaccination of close contacts to cases and vulnerable populations.

Hepatitis A is usually spread through having oral contact with items contaminated with hepatitis A, for example, through ingesting food or drinks contaminated by infected feces. Some people do not develop symptoms, even if infected. If symptoms occur, they usually appear anywhere from 2-6 weeks after exposure. Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days, and may include jaundice (the yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), abdominal pain, nausea or diarrhea. Hepatitis A vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A infection.

Last updated 04/09/18

Outbreak-Associated Cases 217
2017 149
2018   68
Deaths – 2 in Salt Lake City

Public health officials and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are continuing to see an elevated number of hepatitis A cases in the state.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2016, public health response has included increased healthcare awareness efforts, public notification and education, and outreach with vaccination clinics for high-risk populations. No common sources of food, beverages, or drugs have been identified as a potential source of infection. Transmission appears to be through direct person-to-person spread and illicit drug use. Those with history of injection and non-injection drug use, homelessness or transient housing, and incarceration are thought to be at greater risk in this outbreak setting. Notably, this outbreak has had a high hospitalization rate.

Michigan Hepatitis A Outbreak Cases and Deaths as of April 4, 2018

Cases Hospitalizations Deaths
802 644 (80.4%) 25 (3.1%)

 

 Confirmed Cases Referred August 1, 2016-April 4, 2018 
Meeting the MI Hepatitis A Outbreak Case Definition
 County (or city) Total Cases  County (or city) Total Cases
 Macomb 216  Sanilac 6
 City of Detroit 167  Lapeer 6
 Wayne 138  Livingston 6
 Oakland 108  Grand Traverse 4
 St. Clair 30  Allegan 1
 Ingham 24  Clare 1
 Washtenaw 17  Hillsdale 1
 Monroe 17  Huron 1
 Genesee 13  Ionia 1
 Isabella 8  Kent 1
 Calhoun 7  Leelanau 1
 Shiawassee 7  Lenawee 1
 Eaton 5  Newaygo 1
 Clinton 3  Schoolcraft 1
 Gratiot 3  Van Buren 1
 Saginaw 3  Other* 1
 Mecosta 2

 *Jackson Michigan Department of Corrections

 

 

Since Jan. 1, 2017, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) has identified 148 confirmed cases of acute hepatitis A, a liver disease caused by hepatitis A virus. An increase in cases since Aug. 1, 2017, primarily among the homeless and drug users, prompted declaration of a statewide outbreak in Nov. 2017. Viral sequencing has linked several outbreak-associated cases in Kentucky with outbreaks in California and Utah.

KDPH is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments to provide guidance and education to health professionals and at-risk populations. Treatment for acute hepatitis A generally involves supportive care, with specific complications treated as appropriate. Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease.

Counts as of Mar. 3, 2018

§  Total Outbreak: 148

§  Hospitalizations: 107

§  Deaths: 1

New cases the week of Feb. 25 – Mar. 3: 23

Since Jan. 1, 2017, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) has identified 103 confirmed cases of acute hepatitis A, a liver disease caused by hepatitis A virus. An increase in cases since Aug. 1, 2017, primarily among the homeless and drug users, prompted declaration of a statewide outbreak in Nov. 2017. Viral sequencing has linked several outbreak-associated cases in Kentucky with outbreaks in California and Utah.

KDPH is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments to provide guidance and education to health professionals and at-risk populations. Treatment for acute hepatitis A generally involves supportive care, with specific complications treated as appropriate. Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease.

There has been a confirmed case of hepatitis A in Eaton County, the Barry-Eaton District Health Department announced Wednesday.

The health department says the individual is being treated and is not at high risk of spreading the disease.

It is the first known hepatitis A case in Eaton County this year, but it is not yet known whether the case is connected to a more widespread outbreak in southeastern Michigan, the Barry-Eaton health department said.

A Detroit Free Press analysis determined Michigan had the highest per capita rate of hepatitis A cases among U.S. states, with more than 500 Michigan cases reported in 2017. Most of those cases occurred in Detroit and Macomb County.

In San Diego California, the county Health and Human Services Agency published new weekly totals, which add one to the number of deaths recorded since the health crisis started in November 2016. The running tally of confirmed cases also continues to increase, reaching 536 from a previous total of 516 – including 20 deaths. On September 15th the county notified the public that a worker at World Famous restaurant in Pacific Beach had tested positive.

In Michigan, since August 2016, there have been 457 confirmed cases of hepatitis A – including 18 deaths. These have occurred in Huron, Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. Of the confirmed cases, 85 percent of patients were hospitalized. On October 30th, Little Caesars Pizza store and Firewater Bar and Grill employees were implicated.  Cardamom restaurant was implicated on October 5th.

The Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness is investigating cases of Hepatitis A related to two Grosse Pointe restaurants.

The restaurants are Uncle Paul’s Pizza on Mack Ave. and Cabbage Patch Cafe and Catering on Kercheval Avenue.

Both establishments have voluntarily closed and are working with WCDHVCW during the investigation.

WCDHVCW is advising people who consumed food from these establishments between Aug. 1 and Sept. 29, 2017 to watch for symptoms of Hepatitis A which can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark urine, clay colored stool, fever, chills, yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).

Symptoms occur between 15 and 50 days after exposure and can last for several weeks to months.

Public Health Announces Hepatitis A Outbreak in LA County  – Hepatitis A vaccine is the best protection

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has declared a local outbreak of hepatitis A (HAV) in Los Angeles County because the most recent new cases appear to be locally acquired.Hepatitis A outbreaks are currently ongoing in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties. The large majority of cases have occurred in persons who are homeless and/or use illicit drugs (injection and non-injection), with several cases also occurring among people who provide services to the homeless.

Public Health has confirmed 10 total cases of hepatitis A among high-risk individuals (those that are homeless or in institutions that serve the homeless) in Los Angeles County. Of the confirmed cases, four had been in San Diego and one had been in Santa Cruz during their exposure period. Three secondary cases occurred in a health care facility in Los Angeles County. The two most recent cases appear to have acquired their infection locally within Los Angeles County.

“Public Health has been proactively preparing for an outbreak for some time and is working diligently to prevent spread in local communities. Our priorities are to keep all our residents both safe and well informed of the situation,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer, Los Angeles County. “Vaccination is the best protection against Hepatitis A. With this in mind, our outreach teams and clinics are offering free vaccine to persons who are homeless, active drug users, and those who provide services and support to those individuals.”

A person can get hepatitis A if they come into contact with an infected person’s feces through contaminated food or objects. The hepatitis A virus can spread when a person does not properly wash their hands after going to the bathroom or changing diapers. Other modes of transmission include certain sexual practices, sharing equipment related to illicit drug use, and consumption of food or water contaminated with the virus. People who are homeless are at higher risk because they face challenges to maintaining good hygiene.

Physicians are required to report HAV cases to Public Health. HAV causes acute liver disease, which may be severe. It is transmitted by contact with feces from a person who is infected – often through contact with food or water or during sex or other close contact. Signs and symptoms of acute HAV include fever, malaise, dark urine, lack of appetite, nausea, and stomach pain, followed by jaundice. Symptoms generally last for less than 2 months although some persons may have prolonged or more severe illness. Infection can be prevented in close contacts of patients by vaccination or administration of immune globulin within 2-weeks following exposure. If you experience these symptoms, contact your physician.

Although Hepatitis A is very contagious, you can take the following steps to prevent Hepatitis A:

  • Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A
  • Don’t have sex with someone who has Hepatitis A infection
  • Use your own towels, toothbrushes and eating utensils
  • Don’t share food, drinks, or smokes with other people
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing, serving or eating food.

Public Health continues surveillance for cases and is working closely with healthcare providers and organizations that serve the homeless population to protect the health of patients/clients, staff and the community. Public Health is providing education and vaccination to the homeless and those who work with them, and working with other organizations that provide services for the homeless population to reach this community. Hepatitis A vaccination is available at Public Health clinics or from your health care provider. County residents may call the LA County Information line at 2-1- 1 from any landline or cell phone within the county for referrals to providers offering vaccines at no-cost or a reduced cost. For patients without access to HAV vaccine, Public Health will have vaccine available at its Public Health Centers located throughout the County.

The death toll in an outbreak of hepatitis A in San Diego has reached 16, and 421 people have been sickened with the disease, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported Today. The figures are associated with an outbreak that began last November and has struck the homeless population and users of illicit drugs particularly hard.

Patients who contracted hepatitis A, which attacks the liver, in a manner unrelated to the outbreak aren’t included in the statistics.

The new numbers were released the same day the city of San Diego began a pilot program to keep 14 public restrooms in Balboa Park open 24 hours a day. Under direction from county health, the city on Monday began washing down streets and sidewalks in the East Village with a bleach formula.

Also, around 40 hand-washing stations were set up around the city — concentrated in areas where the homeless congregate — around the beginning of the Labor Day weekend.

County officials, meanwhile, are continuing a program of vaccinations, which are considered to be the best way to prevent hepatitis A. The disease is spread by contact with microscopic amounts of infected feces and via sexual transmission.

More than 7,000 shots have been given to people considered to be at-risk of acquiring the disease, and over 19,000 shots given out in total.

In January’s annual tally of the area’s transient population, 5,619 homeless individuals were counted in the city of San Diego, a 10.3 percent increase from last year. Of those, 3,231 were living on the streets.