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Utah public health officials say a hepatitis A outbreak that spanned nearly two years, infected 281 people, and killed three has ended.

Image/ National Atlas of the United States
Image/ National Atlas of the United States

Bree Barbeau, epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), says no new cases have been reported in the past 100 days, which is two incubation cycles for hepatitis A. The outbreak began on May 8, 2017 and the last case was reported on October 26, 2018.

“The majority of Utah’s outbreak-associated cases occurred in people who live along the Wasatch Front and reported illicit substance use and/or were experiencing homelessness,” said Barbeau.

Public health officials expect to receive additional reports of outbreak-associated hepatitis A cases, however, their focus will be on monitoring cases and prevention activities, such as vaccinating the high-risk populations.

The UDOH would like to acknowledge the monumental efforts of private and community partners, and federal, state, and local government partners, especially local public health departments, to control this large hepatitis A outbreak. Partners are encouraged to continue providing hepatitis A vaccination for people experiencing homelessness, along with other high-risk groups, including people using illicit substances and men who have sex with men.