By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Victoria Health Deputy Chief Health Officer, Dr Angie Bone issued a health advisory Friday due to an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Victoria affecting predominantly people who use drugs, as well as people experiencing homelessness.
As of 6 May 2020, there have been 56 confirmed cases and 6 possible cases of hepatitis A associated with the outbreak since July 2019.
To control the outbreak in Victoria, a hepatitis A vaccination program targeting people who use drugs as well as people experiencing homelessness is available until 31 August 2020.
As both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are highly prevalent among people who inject drugs, hepatitis B vaccine should also be offered and screening for both conditions considered. People who positive for hepatitis B, C should be encouraged to commence treatment.
All adults who use drugs (especially people who inject drugs) or are experiencing homelessness are strongly encouraged to get a free single-dose hepatitis A vaccination from their GP clinic that provides specialized services to people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness or from the mobile outreach service.
People who use drugs are advised not to share or re-use consumption equipment. For people who inject drugs this included needles, spoons, swabs, water, or any other injecting equipment. Sterile injecting equipment is available for free across.
A Salmonella outbreak has been linked to the Lincoln Bakery Café on Bouverie Street in Carlton, which has affected 36 people to date.
The café has been closed since May 8.
Victoria’s Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos, said the Health Department was working closely with City of Melbourne to determine where the infection came from.
“There’s an investigation including testing food samples and examining food handling practices … and those who have fallen ill are being interviewed to determine if there are common links in the food they ate.”
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