The largest city in the Americas, São Paulo, Brazil is reporting a dramatic increase in hepatitis A cases this year according to data released by the Municipal Health Secretariat earlier this week.

Image/joelfotos via pixabay
Image/joelfotos via pixabay

According to a local media report (computer translated), between January 1 and September 16 of this year, the city recorded 517 cases of the disease – already an increase of more than 700 percent over the whole of 2016, when there were 64 cases.

According to Flavia Jacqueline Almeida, an infectious pediatrician and an assistant professor in the Pediatric Department of the FCMSC-SP (Faculty of Medical Sciences of Santa Casa de São Paulo), the outbreak of hepatitis A in São Paulo is related to the homosexual population: epidemiological study shows that about 87% of the notifications – 452 cases – in São Paulo occurred among male patients aged between 18 and 39 years. The contagion happened predominantly among men who have sex with other men, “explains the specialist.

Flavia points out that among homosexual men, transmission of hepatitis A occurs via the fecal-oral route during sexual activity. According to the doctor, the outbreak had already been observed in several European countries since last year and the main population affected on the continent were also young homosexual men.