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Hepatitis A Outbreak

Since January 1, 2017, Utah public health has identified 291 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. 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. For more information on hepatitis A, click here.

Last updated 10/15/18

Outbreak-Associated Cases   279      
2017   149      
2018   130      
 
Deaths
Deaths associated with the hepatitis A outbreak are determined and reported by the Local Health
Department with jurisdiction over the case. The following Local Health Departments have reported
deaths associated with hepatitis A. Click on the name of the Local Health Department to be
re-directed to their website.
Salt Lake County Health Department
Onset Date Range   05/08/2017 - 09/17/2018   Incidence Rate per
100,000 Person-Years

 
Age Range   22 - 90 years    median age 40 years                 9.1
           
Sex          
Male   179 64.2%    
Female   100 35.8%    
Health Jurisdictions         Incidence Rate per
100,000 Person-Years
Salt Lake County   193 69.2%               17.2
Utah County     45 16.1%                 7.6
Bear River       6   2.2%                 3.4
Southeast Utah       3   1.1%                 7.5
Southwest Utah       3   1.1%                 1.3
Davis County       6   2.2%                  1.8
Central Utah       5   1.8%                 6.4
Tooele       3   1.1%                 4.6
Summit       3   1.1%                 7.4
Weber-Morgan       9   3.2%                 3.5
Wasatch       2   0.7%                 6.6
           
Hospitalizations   151 55.9%    
           
Risk Factors          
Homelessness and Drug Use   100 35.8%    
Drug Use     77 27.6%    
Homelessness     21   7.5%    
Epi-Linked     40 14.3%    
Travel       4   1.4%    
Unknown     37 13.3%    
           
Incarcerated     40 14.3%    
           
Co-infection          
Hepatitis B (HBV)       3   1.1%    
Hepatitis C (HCV)     43 15.4%    
HBV & HCV     12   4.3%    

 

Contact

Utah Department of Health
Bureau of Epidemiology
801-538-6191
Fax: 801-538-9913
Email: epi@utah.gov
288 North 1460 West
PO Box 142104
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2104

24-Hour Urgent Event & Disease Reporting

1-888-EPI-UTAH (374-8824)
 

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