Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2019

Florida hepatitis A outbreak nears 3,000 cases

By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Florida Department of Health reported an additional 64 hepatitis A (HAV) cases last week. This brings the total for 2019 to 2,413 and 2,961 cases reported from January 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019.

Image/FDOH (cropped)

In 2019, the following counties have seen the most cases: Pasco (384), Pinellas (350) and Volusia (218).

In addition, 31 hepatitis A-related fatalities have been reported in the state through July 31, the swecond highest in the country.

From August 25, 2019 to August 31, 2019, county health departments (CHDs) administered 2,761 (35%) of the total 7,850 first doses of hepatitis A vaccine administered to adults age 18 years and older, as recorded in Florida SHOTS.

In 2019 CHDs have administered 78,188 vaccinations and non-CHDs have administered 114,460 vaccinations for a total of 192,648 vaccinations.

The hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to prevent HAV infection

  • The following groups are at highest risk for acquiring HAV infection or developing serious complications from HAV infection in these outbreaks and should be offered the hepatitis A vaccine in order to prevent or control an outbreak:
    • People who use drugs (injection or non-injection)
    • People experiencing unstable housing or homelessness
    • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
    • People who are currently or were recently incarcerated
    • People with chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C
  • One dose of single-antigen hepatitis A vaccine has been shown to control outbreaks of hepatitis A and provides up to 95% seroprotection in healthy individuals for up to 11 years.

Since the outbreaks were first identified in the US in 2016, 30 states have publicly reported the following as of August 30, 2019: 24,952 cases including 14,984 (60%) hospitalizations and 244 deaths.

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