The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is continuing an investigation into a cluster of hepatitis A infections – which totaled 52 as of July 12 – on Oahu.
Identifying the source of infection continues to be a challenge because of the long incubation period of the disease and the difficulty patients have in accurately recalling the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place, health officials noted on a statement on their website.
Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected. As of this time, all patients have been adults on Oahu, and 16 have required hospitalization.
Health officials are urging unvaccinated contacts of cases to talk to their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.
1. State of Hawaii, Department of Health Disease Outbreak Control Division. Hepatitis A Outbreak 2016.