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Surveillance Open Access
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Abstract

Background

European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries annually report hepatitis A (HepA) notifications to The European Surveillance System (TESSy).

Aim

To describe EU/EEA HepA notifications from 2010 to 2019 and identify infection drivers and surveillance improvements.

Methods

We analysed demographic, clinical and transmission information of HepA confirmed cases from TESSy. We stratified countries by population susceptibility profile and performed time-series analysis to describe trends in notification rates, sex distribution and travel history.

Results

Twenty-nine EU/EEA countries reported 139,793 HepA cases. Six eastern EU countries reported > 60% of these cases. EU/EEA notification rate during the study period was 3.2 cases per 100,000 population (range 2.7–5.6). Notifications peaked in 2014 and 2017, with marked differences in case demographic characteristics. Notification trends varied across different country susceptibility groups. In 2017, the proportion of males (74%) and case median age (31 years) increased steeply, while no changes occurred in 2014. Travel history showed seasonal case peaks following the summer. More than 47,000 hospitalisations were reported. Annual case fatality was < 0.2% for all years. Information on travel history, hospitalisation, death and mode of transmission was suboptimal.

Discussion

Apart from some countries in its east, the EU/EEA is characterised by low HepA incidence baseline and susceptible to recurrent large cross-border outbreaks. Analysis of European surveillance data highlighted the need for stronger prevention policies for eastern EU countries, men who have sex with men and travellers. Improving surveillance data-quality will enhance knowledge on food-borne, and travel-related exposures to inform more effective and tailored regional prevention policies.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2023.28.19.2200575
2023-05-11
2024-06-14
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2023.28.19.2200575
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