Hepatitis A 2004

Table 1. Hepatitis A Cases by Race and Sex, Indiana, 2004

  2004 2000-2004
Cases Rate* Cases
Total 36 0.58 391
   White 23 0.42 276
   Black 1 0.18 43
   Other 1 0.63 18
   Not Reported 11 - 54
   Male 16 0.52 234
   Female 19 0.60 155
   Not Reported 1 - 2

*Rate per 100,000 population based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s population data as of July 1, 2004

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver transmitted most commonly by fecal-oral contact from contaminated food or water, or from person to person via contaminated hands or oral-anal contact. Hepatitis A virus infects primarily humans.

In 2004, 36 cases of hepatitis A were reported in Indiana for a rate of less than one case per 100,000 population (Table 1). This represents a significant decrease from 2003 (1.20). Figure 1 shows the number of reported cases per year for 2000-2004. The number of reported cases was highest during the late summer and winter/early spring months (Figure 2). Figure 3 shows age-specific rates were greatest for adults aged 70-79 years (1.19), followed by adults aged 20-29 years (0.92), and children aged 5-9 years (0.91). Females (0.60) were slightly more likely to be reported than males (0.52). The rate for other races (0.63) was higher than that for whites (0.42) and blacks (0.18); however, 11 cases (31%) did not report race data.

In 2004, 21 Indiana counties reported cases of hepatitis A, but only Monroe County reported 5 or more cases for an incidence rate of 4.1 cases per 100,000 population.

There was one outbreak of hepatitis A infection reported in Indiana in 2004. In July, a food-service worker employed at a fast food restaurant located in Grant County tested positive for hepatitis A. The employee was a cashier and not a front-line food handler, but the employee’s job duties included preparing drinks, dispensing ice, and other tasks that could have contributed to the contamination of food or food-contact surfaces as well as person-to-person transmission. A press release was issued advising people who ate at the restaurant of their risk of developing hepatitis A. A mass prophylaxis clinic was held in Grant County. Information concerning hepatitis A infection, transmission, symptoms, and prevention was provided to the fast food restaurant’s management.

You can learn more about hepatitis A by visiting the following Web site: