Acute Communicable
Disease Control


Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, #212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856

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Acute Communicable Disease Control
 Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A virus (HAV), is a vaccine-preventable disease transmitted fecal-orally, person-to-person, or through other items such as food. Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis A include fever, malaise, dark urine, anorexia, nausea, and abdominal discomfort, followed by jaundice. Many cases, especially in children, are mild or asymptomatic. Sexual and household contacts of HAV-infected persons are at increased risk for getting the disease. The average incubation period is 28 days (range 15–50 days). Recovery usually occurs within one month. Infection confers life-long immunity. People who are homeless are at high risk for contracting this disease.

ACDC uses the CDC/CSTE criteria for acute hepatitis A to standardize surveillance of this infection. The criteria include: 1) an acute illness with discrete onset of symptoms, and 2) jaundice or elevated aminotransferase levels, and 3) appropriate lab tests to confirm laboratory criteria for acute hepatitis A diagnosis: IgM anti-HAV positive, or a case meets the clinical case definition and has an epidemiologic link with a person who has laboratory confirmed hepatitis A (i.e., a household or sexual contact of an infected person during the 15–50 days before the onset of symptoms).

NOTE: An ongoing outbreak of hepatitis A is occurring in homeless and/or those that use illicit drugs in San Diego County
  • Hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreaks in persons who are homeless and/or use illicit (injection and non-injection) drugs are currently occurring in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties and have the potential to spread to Los Angeles County.
  • As of August 1, 2017, San Diego has identified 295 cases including 202 (68%) hospitalizations and 10 (3.4%) deaths. Of these cases 80% are homeless and/or use illicit drugs.
  • In these outbreaks, HAV is primarily being transmitted person-to-person through close contact or through contact with a fecally contaminated environment.
  • To prevent an outbreak in Los Angeles County, HAV vaccine is recommended for people who are homeless and/or use illicit drugs.
  • Timely identification and reporting of confirmed and suspect hepatitis A cases is critical for an effective public health response and to guide outbreak prevention strategies.Button for vaccination clinics
  • ACDC urges healthcare providers to promptly report all confirmed and suspect HAV cases to Los Angeles County Morbidity Unit by faxing a Confidential Morbidity Report to 888-397-3778 or by calling 888-397-3993. Copies of pertinent laboratory testing results and clinical notes should be included. Providers are urged to report while suspected cases are still at the healthcare facility to facilitate immediate interview by a public health investigator.

Summary of Los Angeles County Outbreak Investigation 2017 (slides in PDF)

Outbreak Investigations
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Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A
Infection Prevention & Control

Guidance for disinfectants and steps for cleaning vomit and feces to prevent the spread of hepatitis A
Hepatitis A

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