The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been monitoring hepatitis A outbreaks throughout the country. In Washington, the Department of Health declared a statewide hepatitis A outbreak in July 2019, which has now ended. Below, is the statewide count of all confirmed cases of hepatitis A since April 1, 2019 through September 30, 2021. Twenty-one counties in Washington were impacted by this outbreak.
The populations most impacted by hepatitis A in Washington State include those who are unsheltered, using drugs (injection or non-injection), and those who are currently or recently incarcerated. Lack of access to clean water and hygiene opportunities contribute to the spread of hepatitis A.
Total Confirmed Cases of Hepatitis A in Washington State (April 01, 2019 – September 30, 2021)
What can you do to prevent the spread of hepatitis A?
- The best protection against hepatitis A is the hepatitis A vaccine.
- Check your immunization records online through Wa.MyIR.net.
- If you don't think you ever had hepatitis A vaccine, contact your healthcare provider for immunizations or a blood test as soon as possible. If you don't have a healthcare provider, call your local health department or the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.
- If you think you have been exposed to hepatitis A, call your healthcare provider or local health department for advice.
- If you become ill after a possible exposure to hepatitis A, call your healthcare provider and ask to be evaluated for possible hepatitis A.
- To find out if there are special recommendations in your community, contact your local public health department.
Hepatitis A Outbreak Resources
For the Public
- Hepatitis A general information (learn more about who is at risk, symptoms, and prevention)
- Learn about the hepatitis A vaccine
- Two page visual fact sheet (PDF) that includes information on hepatitis A prevention, transmission, symptoms and encourages multiple populations to get vaccinated
- Hepatitis A general FAQs for the Public (CDC)
- Find a local health department
For High-Risk Populations
Use these fact sheets to communicate with people who are at high risk of getting hepatitis A.
- People experiencing unstable housing or homelessness (PDF)
- People who use drugs (PDF)
- Gay and bisexual men (PDF)
- People who are or were recently in jail or prison (PDF)
For Health Care Providers, Local Health Jurisdictions, and Tribes
Contact your local health department for any questions related to suspect hepatitis A cases. For questions about hepatitis A vaccine or vaccine recommendations, email the Department of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this time, there are no changes to the national recommended hepatitis A vaccine schedule for children and adults in Washington state.
People who are at high risk of becoming infected should get vaccinated. These high risk groups include: people experiencing homelessness, people who use drugs, gay and bisexual men, and people who are or were recently in jail or prison. Vaccination is recommended for all children starting at 1 year of age, for travelers to certain countries, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus. A 3rd dose of hepatitis A vaccine isn't recommended for individuals who already have 2 documented valid doses. Hepatitis A vaccine can be obtained through healthcare providers, pharmacies, or at the local health department.
- Hepatitis A outbreaks FAQ (CDC)
- Widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A across the United States (CDC)
- Hepatitis A general FAQs for Health Professionals (CDC)
- Hepatitis A vaccination information (CDC)
- Hepatitis A information for travelers (CDC)
- Hepatitis A Vaccine Hesitancy Guide (CDC)
- Hepatitis A is a notifiable condition
- Case Definition (PDF)
- Incidence Rate (PDF)
- Reporting Form (PDF)
- Hepatitis A Guideline (PDF)
These are letters alerting external partners of the hepatitis A outbreak in Washington state.
- Hospital Emergency Departments, Infection Preventionists, and Administrators
- Homelessness Service Providers
- Correctional Facilities
- Substance Use Treatment Providers
- Community Clinics and Pharmacies
Sanitation Guidelines to Prevent Hepatitis A
Cleaning to kill Hepatitis A
- Special cleaning and disinfecting is important to prevent hepatitis A from spreading. This flyer explains more.
- Routine cleaning guidelines (Public Health Seattle & King County)
Homeless service provider agencies can also help prevent a major hepatitis A outbreak by making sure staff and clients are following routine cleaning guidelines.
- Downloadable posters on how to clean up and disinfect to help prevent spread of hepatitis A virus (Water Quality & Health Council)
Good Hand Hygiene for Everyone
Thoroughly washing hands with soap and warm water plays an important role in preventing the spread of many illnesses, including hepatitis A.
- Handwashing Flyer (CDC) and in Spanish
- Video: Handwashing - It's Easy as ABC (San Diego County)