Changing epidemiology of hepatitis A: should we be doing more to vaccinate injecting drug users?


Perrett, K; Granerod, J; Crowcroft, N; Carlisle, R; (2003) Changing epidemiology of hepatitis A: should we be doing more to vaccinate injecting drug users? Communicable disease and public health / PHLS, 6 (2). pp. 97-100. ISSN 1462-1843

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Abstract

Since 2001 there have been significant outbreaks of hepatitis A virus (HAV) across South Yorkshire, largely in intravenous drug users, and HAV infection has been reported to be an increasing problem in England and Scotland during this time. This paper reports a brief investigation to clarify current HAV epidemiology in England and Wales. The epidemiology of HAV in England, but not yet Wales, has recently changed. Laboratory reports now show that most cases are occurring in young adults, mainly young men, and that the commonest reported risk group is injecting drug users. That cases may now be concentrated in injecting drug users is supported by reports from consultants in communicable disease control (CsCDC). These detail fourteen outbreaks in England in 2002 alone, all involving injecting drug users. Links to prisons and to the homeless, usually those in hostels, were also common. A combined Hepatitis A/B vaccine is readily available and we recommend that this now be used to extend the national immunisation programme against Hepatitis B in injecting drug users to include HAV.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Age Distribution, Age Factors, Aged, Child, Child, Preschool, *Disease Outbreaks, England/epidemiology, Female, Hepatitis A/*epidemiology/etiology/*prevention & control/transmission, Hepatitis A Vaccines/*therapeutic use, Hepatitis A Virus, Human/*immunology, Humans, Infant, Male, Middle Aged, Risk Factors, Sex Factors, *Substance Abuse, Intravenous, Wales/epidemiology, Adolescent, Adult, Age Distribution, Age Factors, Aged, Child, Child, Preschool, Disease Outbreaks, England, epidemiology, Female, Hepatitis A, epidemiology, etiology, prevention & control, transmission, Hepatitis A Vaccines, therapeutic use, Hepatitis A Virus, Human, immunology, Humans, Infant, Male, Middle Aged, Risk Factors, Sex Factors, Substance Abuse, Intravenous, Wales, epidemiology
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Vaccine Centre
PubMed ID: 12889286
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/8974

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