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Indiana Hepatitis A Outbreak

What is hepatitis a?

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting a few months. Symptoms of hepatitis A usually appear two to six weeks after someone is infected and can include:

Indiana Hepatitis A Outbreak

Indiana is one of several states experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak. Hepatitis A is usually spread person-to-person when someone accidentally consumes stool (poop) of someone with hepatitis A or by consuming food or water contaminated with the virus. During this outbreak, the hepatitis A virus has been spread person-to-person; no contaminated food or water has been identified.

Where can I get a hepatitis A vaccine?

Hepatitis A vaccine is the best protection against the virus, and it’s easy to receive from healthcare providers and pharmacies. If you do not have health insurance or your insurance does not cover the cost of vaccines, you might be able to receive the hepatitis A vaccine through one of Indiana’s adult vaccine providers. Click here to learn more about Indiana’s adult vaccine program or here to find adult vaccine providers in your area.

Who is most at risk during this outbreak?

Although anyone can get hepatitis A, those most at risk in this outbreak are:

  • People who use illicit drugs (injection and non-injection)
  • Homeless individuals
  • Those who are in jail or prison
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Close direct contacts of at-risk individuals (living in the same household, sexual contact, sharing needles or “works”)

‚ÄčWhat can i do to prevent hepatitis A?

Get Vaccinated! The hepatitis A vaccine is highly effective at preventing hepatitis A. If you believe you have been exposed to hepatitis A or are homeless, use illicit drugs, were recently incarcerated, or had contact with someone who has hepatitis A, contact your healthcare provider about hepatitis A vaccine.

Good handwashing with soap and running water, especially before preparing food and after using the restroom, can also help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

Anyone who has symptoms of hepatitis A should contact a healthcare provider immediately and should not prepare food for others. A doctor can confi­rm if someone has hepatitis A with a blood test. People with symptoms should not attend work or school while ill.

More information About the INDIANA HEPATITIS A OUTBREAK

Hepatitis A in Indiana

  • Since November 2017, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has been investigating an outbreak of acute hepatitis A virus (HAV).
  • Outbreak-related cases have been confirmed across the state.
  • In previous years, Indiana has had an average of 20 cases of hepatitis A per 12-month period.
  • Using the outbreak definition* (see below), the ISDH will update this website every other Friday to reflect counties that have five or more outbreak-related cases.
  • The ISDH updated the outbreak definition on July 20, 2018, so data on this website may reflect additional cases that were not included in previous outbreak case counts.

Multi-state Hepatitis A Outbreak

  • Several other states are also experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak.
  • Indiana cases have been infected with HAV strains genetically linked to outbreaks across the United States.
  • Information on other outbreaks can be accessed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

*Indiana outbreak case definition: confirmed hepatitis A cases (hepatitis A IgM positive with acute symptom onset AND either jaundice OR elevated liver enzymes) acquired since Nov. 1, 2017, through person to person transmission within the United States. Cases may be excluded from the outbreak if a confirmed case has no known risk factors (illicit drug use, homelessness, incarceration, men who have sex with men, contact with a confirmed case or domestic travel to an area with a known outbreak), AND has traveled outside of the United States to a country with endemic hepatitis A OR if a confirmed case has a specimen identified as any genotype (laboratory test link) other than 1B.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Resources

Page last updated: February 4, 2020