HEALTH ADVISORY - HEPATITIS A DISINFECTION GUIDANCE FOR HOMELESS SHELTERS AND RESIDENTIAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT FACILITIES
Since March 2017, CDCs Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) has been assisting several state and local health departments with hepatitis A outbreaks spread through person to person contact, that have occurred primarily among persons who are homeless, persons who use injection and non-injection drugs, and their close direct contacts in Michigan, California, and Utah. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/outbreaks/2017March-HepatitisA.htm
Southwest District Health has NOT had a confirmed case of Hepatitis A since September 2016 and this case was NOT associated with a homeless shelter or residential drug rehabilitation facility.
CDC has encouraged local public health departments to:
•Work with community partners to provide hepatitis A vaccine to people who are homeless, people who use injection and non-injection drugs, and others with established risk factors who are not yet immunized
•Consider hepatitis A vaccination for anyone with ongoing, close contact with people who are homeless or people who use injection and non-injection drugs
In light of the ongoing outbreaks of Hepatitis A among adults in several US cities, the demand for adult Hepatitis A vaccine has increased substantially over the past 6 months and vaccine supply to meet this unexpected demand in the US has become constrained. CDC has provided interim guidance on hepatitis A vaccine administration in the event that our access to hepatitis A vaccine becomes limited.
•Some symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection include:
- Yellow eyes or skin
- Abdominal pain
- Pale stools
- Dark urine
Hepatitis A is usually spread by the fecal-oral route, either through person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water. Contamination can occur when an infected person does not wash their hands properly after going to the bathroom and then touches other objects or food items. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected often. The attached health advisory, adapted courtesy of San Diego County Department of Environmental Health, provides some useful information for preventing the transmission (spread) of Hepatitis A and other gastroenteric organisms.
For questions, concerns, or to report cases:
Southwest District Health Environmental & Community Health
Jennifer Tripp / Cheryl Craig – Staff Epidemiologists
Confidential Reporting Line – (208) 455-5442
Confidential Reporting Fax (208) 455-5350