CHO Health Advisory: Hepatitis A outbreak

20 December, 2018

Status: Active

Date issued: 20 December 2018

Issued by: Dr Brett Sutton, Acting Chief Health Officer, Victoria

Issued to: Health professionals and general public

Key messages

  • The free two-dose hepatitis A vaccination program has been extended to further control the hepatitis A outbreak in Victoria. 
  • The two-dose hepatitis A vaccination is free until 30 June 2019 for all men who have sex with men (MSM), people who have injected drugs (PWID) in the past 12 months, homeless rough sleepers and adult prisoners. 
  • More cases of hepatitis A have been identified in Victoria. As of 23 November 2018, there were 211 confirmed outbreak cases, 10 probable, 13 possible cases and two deaths. 
  • Of the 211 confirmed cases, most are male and report male-to-male sexual activity. Other key risk groups include people who inject drugs, homeless rough sleepers and adult prisoners in Victoria. 
  • Consider hepatitis A infection in patients presenting with a compatible illness in these risk groups and take blood for serology (IgM). Advise that sexual activity should be avoided whilst results are pending. 
  • Notify all suspected cases of acute viral hepatitis without waiting for serology results to the Department by calling 1300 651 160. 

Read the full alert: Hepatitis A outbreak

Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.