Hepatitis A Hits Hoosiers in the Heartland

Indiana Joins Midwestern Hepatitis A Outbreak

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The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has confirmed 77 cases of hepatitis A since January 2018.

Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection, says the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection.

The genotype of two of these hepatitis A cases matches that of ongoing outbreaks in Arizona, Kentucky, California, Michigan, Utah, West Virginia and Ohio, as reported earlier. 

The state of Indiana typically reports fewer than 20 hepatitis A cases each year.

Cases have been confirmed in several counties, with the majority being reported in Clark and Floyd counties, reports the ISDH.

These transmissions are presumed to occur person-to-person and/or through injection drug use since no commercial food product has been identified as being contaminated.

To reduce the risk of hepatitis A transmission, people who have not received two doses of a hepatitis A vaccine may ask their healthcare provider for protection.

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Additionally, people should always wash your hands with soap and warm water after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers, and before preparing meals for yourself and others says the ISDH.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus reports the CDC.

In the USA, there are three FDA approved hepatitis A vaccines: Vaqta, Havrix, and Twinrix.

Most pharmacies offer hepatitis vaccines.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides current HAV vaccine contract prices and general information, and vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.