Hepatitis A update

February 28, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Please be advised that the hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in Michigan continues and now includes 760 confirmed cases resulting in 25 deaths. The outbreak is now widespread throughout the state, but most cases have occurred in Macomb, Detroit City, Wayne, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties.

The majority of patients in this outbreak have risk factors of homelessness and/or substance use, although many patients have no known risk factors. Twenty health care workers have been infected with hepatitis A as part of this outbreak. In addition, 30 food handlers have been infected, resulting in exposures at several restaurants throughout southeast Michigan. Additional information about the outbreak can be found by clicking here.

Given the ongoing HAV burden in the community and reports of health care worker infection at other facilities, the organization is encouraging hepatitis A vaccination for nonimmune health care workers who have direct contact with patients and those who may potentially come into contact with infected stool or vomitus. Nonimmune workers have not had two doses of hepatitis A vaccine OR have not had hepatitis A infection.

Vaccination is especially recommended for the following groups:

  • Emergency department health care workers with direct patient contact
  • Environmental Services workers
  • Health care workers caring for patients with confirmed hepatitis A
  • Phlebotomists
  • Health care workers with chronic liver disease or other medical conditions requiring vaccination (click here for additional information)
  • Public safety officers
  • Plumbers and other maintenance workers who come into contact with waste pipes

In order to ensure full immunity to hepatitis A, a second dose of vaccine is recommended 6 months or longer after the first dose. Please note that the hepatitis B vaccine does not provide protection against hepatitis A.

Michigan Medicine workforce members are able to receive the hepatitis A vaccine free of charge from Occupational Health Services (OHS). This is a walk-in service Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

OHS is offering the second dose of hepatitis A vaccine to those who have already received the first dose, but receipt of the second dose is considered non-urgent and can typically wait until other routine follow-up in OHS (i.e., annual visit for TB testing). Workforce members may also choose to be vaccinated at their personal physician’s office or at some pharmacies using private insurance.

Please email OHS at OccupationalHealth-RN@med.umich.edu if you have questions about hepatitis A vaccination for Michigan Medicine workforce members.

If you have additional questions/concerns about the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak, please contact Infection Prevention & Epidemiology at 734-936-6355 or page 30032.