In a follow-up on the Utah hepatitis A outbreak, health officials have reported 124 cases in the current outbreak. The onset of illness ranges from May through Dec 2017.

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

Several cases have been linked by investigation and/or viral sequencing to a national outbreak of hepatitis A involving cases in California and Arizona.

More than half the outbreak cases required hospitalization. The vast majority of outbreak cases were reported from two counties-Salt Lake (85) and Utah (26). No deaths have been reported.

The high rate of hospitalization may be a result of cases having underlying illnesses (e.g., alcoholism), or a higher rate of hepatitis comorbidities (e.g., hepatitis B or C).

Hepatitis A is usually spread through having oral contact with items contaminated with hepatitis A, for example, through ingesting food or drinks contaminated by infected feces. Some people do not develop symptoms, even if infected. If symptoms occur, they usually appear anywhere from 2-6 weeks after exposure. Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days, and may include jaundice (the yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), abdominal pain, nausea or diarrhea. Hepatitis A vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A infection.