An outbreak of hepatitis A among injecting drug users
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O'Donovan, D., Cooke, R., Joce, R., Eastbury, A., Waite, J, & Stene-Johansen, K. (2001). An outbreak of hepatitis A among injecting drug users. Epidemiology & Infection, 127:469-473
This descriptive study investigated an outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection among injecting drug users (IDUs) and their contacts. Twenty-seven cases of acute HAV infection were identified in a 5-month period. Connections with the local injecting drug using (IDU) population were established for 25 of the cases of whom 14 admitted to injecting drug use. HAV RNA genotyping revealed two HAV variants, closely related to variants found in Scandinavian IDUs and in South East Asia. The study demonstrates that once HAV enters the IDU population extensive outbreaks are possible. We recommend that all IDUs should be tested for HAV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections and offered combined hepatitis A and B vaccines if non-immune.