The Worcester Division of Public Health (WDPH) has issued a public health advisory concerning an outbreak of Hepatitis A, particularly among those experiencing substance use and/ or homelessness.
WDPH, along with community partners, have been providing outreach, education and vaccinations to the affected population. To date, 206 individuals have been vaccinated.
The outreach and vaccination effort has been a partnership between WDPH and AIDS Project Worcester, St John’s Parish (at both Hotel Grace and St Francis Xavier Center), The Mustard Seed, SMOC Shelter, Community Healthlink, Net of Compassion Ministries (Pastor Richie), LIFT (Living In Freedom Together), Worcester Public Library, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Saint Vincent Hospital, Spectrum Health Systems, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Passages and the Regional Medical Reserve Corps.
“It is important that we vaccinate as many high-risk individuals as possible in order to achieve heard immunity,” said Dr. Michael P. Hirsh, Medical Director for the City of Worcester.
Worcester, Boston and other areas of the state have seen an uptick in confirmed and suspect Hepatitis A cases over the last two months.
Since April 2018, 202 cases of acute hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection, including four deaths have been reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), in individuals with recent experience of homelessness, unstable housing, and/or substance use disorder.
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