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03/27/2019

ODH Asks For Help With Hepatitis A Outbreak

Protect yourself and educate individuals at risk


Ohio’s EMS agencies and providers, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is asking for your help. Ohio is in the midst of a statewide community outbreak of hepatitis A.  Since January 5, 2018 to present, there have been 1,931 cases identified within Ohio.  Historically, Ohio has seen about 40 cases per year.  As response partners, ODH wants to ensure you are aware of this outbreak.     

As providers of emergency medical services, your agency may serve populations most at risk.  Individuals most at risk for hepatitis A in this outbreak include:

  • People who use street drugs, whether they are injected or not;
  • People who are or were recently incarcerated;
  • People experiencing homelessness or in transient living;
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM);
  • People with underlying liver disease (including cirrhosis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C).

Below, find current educational materials on hepatitis A.

ODH Hepatitis A website and CDC Hepatitis A website respectively:

https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/outbreak-response-bioterrorism-investigation-team/news/newsevent1

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/outbreaks/2017March-HepatitisA.htm

The information provided should be used to protect Ohio’s EMS providers. It should also be used to provide assistance in fighting the outbreak through the activities listed below:

  • Providing outreach to populations most at risk;
  • Engaging your local counterparts to support outbreak response;
  • Disseminating educational materials;
  • Providing facilities/venues to conduct vaccination clinics and/or providing staffing (nurses) that could assist us in vaccinating populations most at risk;
  • Connecting public health (local or state) to other entities/programs that could assist in response.

Please contact your local public health department or the Ohio Department of Health for additional information on the hepatitis A outbreak.

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