HONG KONG — An outbreak of Hepatitis A among men who have sex with men in Hong Kong has affected 24 there and has health officials concerned, the South China Morning Post reports.
Eleven cases were reported since September 2015. Of the 24, 20 were HIV positive.
Officials cited the spread to sexual transmission.
The center revealed last week that a significant increase of hepatitis A cases was detected since August last year among HIV-positive men who attended the Health Department’s Integrated Treatment Centre, with three more cases being traced back to September 2015. Between 2006 and 2015, the city recorded zero to two cases of the viral infection per year, the Post reports.
The spokesman said the symptoms in most of the 11 new cases became apparent as early as April last year. In three cases this happened last month.
Among those affected, 20 were discharged after hospital treatment, while four did not require admission. All recovered following treatment, the Post reports.
About 150 one-off free hepatitis A vaccinations were given to gay men attending five designated public clinics last week. They were offered Feb. 10 in an attempt to control the outbreak.
The spokesman added that other men who had sex with men should consult doctors if in doubt and receive vaccinations from the private sector.
According to the center, hepatitis A infection itself is rarely fatal but could cause acute liver failure, which has a high mortality rate.