Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Cases of hepatitis A in Santa Clara County are associated both with international travel and with local transmission. Since 2016, outbreaks have occurred in California and other states among people experiencing homelessness and/or using drugs. Hepatitis A is spread from close personal contact with an infected person, and from consuming food or water that has been contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.
Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for the following groups:
- All children, at age 1 year
- People traveling to countries that have high or intermediate levels of hepatitis A virus transmission
- People with unstable housing or experiencing homelessness
- People who have a history of incarceration
- Men who have sex with men
- Users of injection and non-injection drugs
- People who have chronic liver disease, including infection with hepatitis B or C
- People with clotting-factor disorders
- Household members and other close personal contacts of adoptees from countries where Hepatitis A is common
- People with direct contact with people who have hepatitis A
Reporting hepatitis A
If you suspect or have confirmed that a patient has hepatitis A infection, you are required to report the case to the County Santa Clara Public Health Department within one working day (California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Section 2500). Please fax the completed Confidential Morbidity Report Form to (408) 885-4249 or (408) 885-3709. You can reach the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Program by phone at (408) 885-4214.
Recommendations and updates
More about hepatitis A