Health Advisory: Hepatitis A outbreak in Utah could impact Idaho: providers urged to review records and vaccinate!
Southwest District Health encourages healthcare providers to review vaccination records, and vaccinate against hepatitis A, if needed, all persons at high risk for hepatitis A, including patients experiencing homelessness. Large hepatitis A outbreaks in western states including Utah are occurring among homeless persons and persons who use illicit injection or non-injection drugs. Travel by infected persons from one locality to another has initiated new outbreaks; a recent acute hepatitis A case in an Idaho resident has possible links to the ongoing outbreak in Utah. Preemptive vaccination is recommended, along with counseling on other preventive measures such as good hand hygiene.
All homeless persons, and persons who use injection or non-injection drugs, who have not been previously vaccinated against hepatitis A or who do not have documentation of hepatitis A vaccination, should receive two doses of hepatitis A vaccine (VAQTA®, 6–18 months apart; or HAVRIX®, 6–12 months apart) or 3–4 doses of a combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine (TWINRIX®). The supply of hepatitis A vaccine for adults is constrained; to conserve the vaccine supply and maximize the availability of at least one dose of hepatitis A vaccine among persons with exposure risk, the second dose can be deferred until the supply has improved. Pediatric-formulated vaccine should not be used in adults. Pediatric vaccine for children aged <19 years is available through the Idaho Immunization Program, www.immunizeidaho.com.
Please enter vaccine administration into IRIS for those patients who have not opted out of IRIS.
Report cases or suspected cases of hepatitis A within one working day to Southwest District Health or the Epidemiology Program, Division of Public Health, tel. 208-334-5939, fax. 208-332-7307. Post exposure prophylaxis is recommended for unvaccinated persons who have been exposed to hepatitis A virus in the last 2 weeks.
For more information:
Hepatitis A outbreaks and links to vaccine recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/outbreaks/2017March-HepatitisA.htm
Idaho Immunization Reminder Information System (IRIS): https://iris.dhw.idaho.gov/
Southwest District Health Epidemiology Program
Confidential Reporting Line 208-455-5442
Confidential Reporting Fax 208-455-5350