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Hepatitis A

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Published on November 21, 2016. Last modified on December 16, 2019

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.

June 21, 2018: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and several local health departments nationwide are investigating increases in hepatitis A virus infectious.  Some but not all of the clusters have been associated with homelessness and/or injection drug use.  For more information about these investigations, please visit CDC and CDPH hepatitis A websites.  While Monterey County's hepatitis A outbreak has officially ended, the Monterey County Health Department urges everyone to practice good hand hygiene and consider risk of exposure during travel to endemic areas or areas of the United States experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis A illness.

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