Viral Hepatitis A, 2009

In 2009, 30 cases of hepatitis A (HAV) (0.6 per 100,000 population) were reported. Twenty (67%) cases were residents of the metropolitan area, including 12 (40%) residents of Hennepin or Ramsey Counties. Fifteen (50%) of the cases were male. Cases ranged in age from 10 months to 71 years (median, 41 years). Nineteen (63%) cases were white, 1 (3%) was black, 1 (3%) was American Indian, and 1 (3%) was Asian; race was unknown for 8 (27%) cases. Hispanic ethnicity was reported for 2 cases (0.9 per 100,000).

A risk factor was identified for 24 (80%) of the cases, 2 (8%) of whom had known exposure to a confirmed hepatitis A case. These persons became infected following exposure to a close contact, representing missed opportunities to administer immune globulin (IG) or HAV vaccine. Of the remaining 22 cases with a risk factor identified, 11 were associated with travel. Of these 11 cases, 7 (64%) traveled to Mexico, Central America, or South America.
In 2009, there were no outbreaks of hepatitis A. HAV vaccine is now recommended for post-exposure prophylaxis of healthy persons aged 12 months to 40 years. HAV vaccine used for post-exposure prophylaxis gives longer protection than IG, is often more readily available, and is easier to administer.

Updated Friday, November 19, 2010 at 03:16PM