CHA News Article

CDPH Updates Hepatitis A Clinical Advisory

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued an updated advisory on Oct. 19 about the recent hepatitis A outbreak in Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Cruz counties. According to CDPH, 507 hepatitis A cases and 19 deaths have been reported in San Diego County since November 2016. In Santa Cruz County, at least 73 cases have been reported since April 2017. As a result of the response to those outbreaks and attempt to control the spread among high-risk populations, the adult version of the vaccine is in short supply. CDPH recommends the vaccine be prioritized for groups at increased risk of infection in the areas with ongoing transmission of hepatitis A. Providers should contact their local health department for local immunization recommendations.

The advisory also lists groups who should receive the vaccine; recommends using the combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine for pre-exposure prophylaxis if the hepatitis A vaccine is not available; and directs providers to check with pharmacies for vaccine availability. CDPH reiterates that there is no shortage of the children’s hepatitis A vaccine.

To assist with outbreak control, CDPH requests that health care providers contact the local health department immediately during business hours (or 24/7 in San Diego) to report a suspected hepatitis A infection in patients experiencing homelessness and/or using injection or non-injection illicit drugs. More information is available on the CDPH website.