Hepatitis A Outbreak


Since January 1, 2017, Utah public health has identified 295 confirmed cases of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection; many among persons who are homeless and/or using illicit drugs. Several cases have been linked by investigation and/or viral sequencing to a national outbreak of hepatitis A involving cases in California and Arizona. In response to the outbreak, public health officials have been working to identify cases and contacts, provide education, and ensure opportunities for vaccination of close contacts to cases and vulnerable populations.

Hepatitis A is usually spread through having oral contact with items contaminated with hepatitis A, for example, through ingesting food or drinks contaminated by infected feces. Some people do not develop symptoms, even if infected. If symptoms occur, they usually appear anywhere from 2-6 weeks after exposure. Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days and may include jaundice (the yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), abdominal pain, nausea or diarrhea. Hepatitis A vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A infection. For more information on hepatitis A, click here.

Last updated 02/12/19

Outbreak-Associated Cases 281
2017 149
2018 132
Deaths
Deaths associated with the hepatitis A outbreak are determined and reported by the Local Health
Department with jurisdiction over the case. The following Local Health Departments have reported
deaths associated with hepatitis A. Click on the name of the Local Health Department to be
re-directed to their website.
Salt Lake County Health Department
Onset Date Range 05/08/2017 – 10/26/2018 Incidence Rate per
100,000 Person-Years
Age Range 22 – 90 years    median age 40 years               9.2
Sex
Male 180 64.1%
Female 101 35.9%
Health Jurisdictions Incidence Rate per
100,000 Person-Years
Salt Lake County 195 69.4%             17.4
Utah County   45 16.0%               7.6
Bear River     6   2.1%               3.4
Southeast Utah     3   1.1%               7.5
Southwest Utah     3   1.1%               1.3
Davis County     6   2.1%               1.8
Central Utah     5   1.8%               6.4
Tooele     3   1.1%               4.6
Summit     3   1.1%               7.4
Weber-Morgan     9   3.2%               3.5
Wasatch     2   0.7%               6.6
Hospitalizations 152 55.9%
Risk Factors
Homelessness and Drug Use 101 35.9%
Drug Use   78 27.8%
Homelessness   21   7.5%
Epi-Linked   40 14.2%
Travel     4   1.4%
Unknown   37 13.2%
Incarcerated   40 14.2%
Co-infection
Hepatitis B (HBV)     3   1.1%
Hepatitis C (HCV)   43 15.3%
HBV & HCV   12   4.3%