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The recent reporting in ProMED (www.promedmail.org) of hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreaks in Sheffield has raised interest in the epidemiology of HAV infections in England and Wales (1). Data from 2001, and from the first two quarters of 2002 demonstrate that HAV infection is becoming an increasing problem. Seven hundred and sixty nine cases occurred overall during 2001, most of these being in men aged between 15 and 44 years (table 1). The Northern and Yorkshire region (which includes Sheffield) accounted for 21% of the total reports due to several outbreaks which occurred in this region (2). Although only 19% of reports included information on risk factors, intravenous drug users (IDUs) were the most prominent risk group among these.


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