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In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak in Louisiana, state health officials have reported 136 hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections since the outbreak was declared in December.


Of this total, 66 percent of the cases required hospitalization and the first HAV related death was reported.

The Louisiana Office of Public Health (OPH) says the outbreak mirrors other states, which are affecting certain risk groups:

  • People reporting drug use (injection and non-injection),
  • People experiencing homelessness,
  • Men who have sex with men,
  • Incarcerated or recently incarcerated individuals, and
  • People who have been in close contact of someone infected with Hepatitis A.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination with the hepatitis A vaccine. Unvaccinated people who have been exposed recently (within two weeks) to the hepatitis A virus should get the hepatitis A vaccine or a shot of immune globulin to prevent severe illness.

Practicing good hand hygiene – including thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food – plays an important role in preventing the spread of hepatitis A.