Outbreak of HAV infections among persons who use drugs and persons experiencing homelessness

CDC is working with state health departments to investigate hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreaks in a number of states among individuals who report drug use and/or homelessness and their contacts.

CDC is working with state health departments to investigate hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreaks in a number of states among individuals who report drug use and/or homelessness and their contacts. CDC has issued a Health Alert Network Advisory to inform public health departments, health care facilities, and programs providing services to affected populations about the outbreaks and to provide guidance in identifying and preventing new infections. More than 2,500 reports of HAV infections associated with person-to-person transmission were reported in multiple states from January 2017 and April 2018. Among the more than 1,900 reports for which risk factors are known, 68% of the infected individuals report drug use (injection and non-injection), homelessness, or both. Responses conducted in some states led to increased vaccine demand and usage, which in turn has resulted in constrained supplies of HAV vaccine. "As available vaccine supply has increased and progress has been made towards controlling ongoing outbreaks in some jurisdictions, vaccine is more readily available," CDC said, adding that it is continuing to closely monitor demand for adult HAV vaccine. To prevent further HAV transmission, CDC offers recommendations for health departments and health care providers for diagnoses, reporting, vaccination, and education.