State sees spike in Hep A cases

Published 4:27 am Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Louisiana Office of Public Health (OPH) is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections in Louisiana. This increase in cases mirrors the hepatitis A outbreaks occurring in other states, which are affecting certain risk groups.

Those risk groups include, but are not limited to: people reporting drug use (injection and non-injection), people experiencing homelessness, men who have sex with men, incarcerated or recently incarcerated individuals, and people who have been in close contact of someone infected with Hepatitis A.

While HAV infections usually resolve without treatment, illnesses and deaths in the current national outbreaks have been higher than usual due to older age and underlying health conditions, especially chronic liver disease, of people affected.

Although no cases have been reported yet in Washington Parish, the OPH does say that “five or fewer” cases have been reported in neighboring St. Tammany Parish.

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