CHA News Article

CDPH Provides Guidance on Hepatitis A Outbreaks, Vaccine

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued the attached All Facilities Letter noting current outbreaks of hepatitis A infection in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties. According to CDPH, infections are particularly prevalent among homeless persons and users of illicit drugs. CDPH has determined transmission occurs person-to-person; no commercial product is identified as being contaminated.

CDPH recommends that hospitals work with local health departments to offer hepatitis A vaccines to all patients who are homeless, users of injection or non-injection illicit drugs, infected with hepatitis B or hepatitis C, or have other liver disease. Hospitals must contact their local health department immediately – while the patient is still in the facility – to report suspected hepatitis A infections, as well as promptly report all confirmed cases and save the blood (serum and EDTA or citrate plasma) from hepatitis A serological testing. Providers in outbreak jurisdictions should also make the hepatitis A vaccine available to health care personnel who have frequent close contact with patients who are homeless or use illicit drugs.