Outbreaks Open Access


The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were notified of increasing acute hepatitis A (AHA) in June 2015. Serum and/or stool from AHA patients and sewage samples were tested for hepatitis A virus (HAV). We defined outbreak cases as AHA patients with illness onset after June 2015 and with an HAV sequence less than 0.5% different from that of the TA-15 outbreak strain. We analysed characteristics and food exposures between outbreak and non-outbreak cases between January 2014 (start of enhanced surveillance) and February 2016. From June 2015 to September 2017, there were 1,563 AHA patients with a median age of 31 years (interquartile range (IQR): 26–38); the male-to-female ratio was 8.8 and 585 (37%) had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. TA-15 was detected in 82% (852/1,033) of AHA patients, and 14% (74/540) of sewage samples tested since July 2015. Infection with the TA-15 strain was associated with having HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STI), recent oral-anal sex and men who have sex with men (MSM). The Taiwan CDC implemented an HAV vaccine campaign starting from October 2016 where 62% (15,487/24,879) of people at risk were vaccinated against HAV. We recommend HAV vaccination for at-risk populations and continuous surveillance to monitor control measures.


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