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Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is highly contagious. It is usually transmitted by the fecal-oral route, either through person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. More than 80% of adults with hepatitis A have symptoms but the majority of children do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Antibodies produced in response to hepatitis A last for life and protect against reinfection. The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is by getting vaccinated.
November 7, 2017: There is an ongoing outbreak of hepatitis A virus in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Santa Cruz Counties. Recently, a case of hepatitis A in a homeless person in Monterey County who does not have a history of travel to these counties suggests transmission of the virus is now occurring in Monterey County among the homeless and illicit drug use communities. If you provide services to homeless individuals, illicit drug users, and/or incarcerated individuals, please review the information under the "For Health Care Providers" section of this page.
For more information about the situation statewide, please visit the California Department of Public Health's hepatitis A website.
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