Hepatitis A Outbreak in Missouri




Hepatitis A Outbreak in Missouri...

From September 15, 2017 to August 20, 2019, there have been 414 Hepatitis A outbreak-associated cases in 35 Missouri counties. Of the cases reported, there have been 233 hepatitis A outbreak-associated hospitalizations and 2 hepatitis A outbreak-associated deaths. The disease appears to be spreading through direct person-to-person contact.

How is Hepatitis A spread?

Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also spread from close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill.

Contamination of food by Hepatitis A can happen at any point: growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking.

Can Hepatitis A be prevented?

Yes. The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination with the Hepatitis A vaccine. To get the full benefit of the Hepatitis A vaccine, more than one shot is needed. The number and timing of these shots depends on the type of vaccine you are given. Practicing good hand hygiene – including thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food – plays an important role in preventing the spread of Hepatitis A.

Who should get vaccinated against Hepatitis A?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends Hepatitis A vaccination for the following people:

*Any person wishing to obtain immunity

*People with direct contact with others who have Hepatitis A

*All children at age 1 year

*Travelers to countries where Hepatitis A is common

*Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where

Hepatitis A is common

*Men who have sexual encounters with other men

*Users of recreational drugs, whether injected or not

*People with chronic or long-term liver disease, including

Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C

*People with clotting-factor disorders

For questions contact Ste. Genevieve County Health Department at (573)883-7411

For more information on Hepatitis A and the current Outbreak in Missouri you can visit