Hepatitis A update and recommendations

October 26, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

The hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in Southeast Michigan (Detroit City, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties) continues and now includes 431 confirmed cases (age 20-87) resulting in 17 deaths.

The majority of patients in this outbreak have risk factors of homelessness, incarceration and/or substance use; men who have sex with men are also at increased risk. Nine health care workers (none from Michigan Medicine) have been infected with hepatitis A as part of this outbreak. In addition, a large number of patrons may have been exposed to hepatitis A at an Ann Arbor restaurant recently. 

Updated information about the ongoing outbreak can be found by clicking here.

Due to possible occupational risk for hepatitis A virus exposure, Michigan Medicine is strongly recommending hepatitis A vaccination for all health care workers with direct patient contact who have not previously been vaccinated with two doses of hepatitis A vaccine or had prior history of hepatitis A infection. 

Vaccination is especially recommended for the following groups: 

  • Adult emergency department health care workers with direct patient contact
  • Environmental service workers
  • Health care workers caring for patients with confirmed hepatitis A
  • Health care workers with chronic liver disease or other medical conditions requiring vaccination. Click here for details.  
  • Public safety officers

Please note that the hepatitis B vaccine does not provide protection against hepatitis A.

Michigan Medicine employees 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. Employees may also choose to be vaccinated at their personal physician’s office or at some pharmacies at their own expense.

Please also see this document for infection prevention recommendations for caring for patients with hepatitis A in the health care environment.

If you have additional questions/concerns, please contact Infection Prevention & Epidemiology at 734-936-6355 or page 30032.