LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is reminding men who have sex with men (MSM) to get the hepatitis A vaccine, Outbreak Today reports citing a department press release.
Public Health reports 12 cases among MSM so far in 2017, which is three more cases than were reported in 2016. MSM are known to be at risk for hepatitis A (HAV) and have been recommended nationally to receive the vaccine. Public Health is informing health care providers of the increase in cases this year, reminding them to offer vaccine, and requesting their assistance in detecting and reporting any cases of hepatitis A.
Outbreaks of hepatitis A among MSM are occurring nationally and internationally this year with outbreaks having been declared in New York City, Colorado, Europe, Chile and Australia.
The increase of hepatitis A cases among MSM in Los Angeles County is consistent with these other worldwide outbreaks and is occurring within the context of the outbreak of hepatitis A among homeless persons and those who use illicit drugs.
Hepatitis A causes acute liver disease, which may be severe. It is transmitted by contact with feces from a person who is infected, often through contact with food or water or during sex or other close contact. Most adults with acute hepatitis A will have symptoms that may include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark colored urine and jaundice. If you experience these symptoms, contact your physician.