DPH on Hepatitis A and West Nile Virus

Massachusetts DPH last Wednesday issued this advisory alerting healthcare providers about the ongoing Hepatitis A outbreak among homeless individuals and/or those with substance use disorder. There have been 22 cases of Hepatitis A (HAV) since early April with approximately 85% of those cases requiring hospitalization, and one resulting in death.

“Given the continued increase in significant HAV activity in Massachusetts and the outbreaks seen in other states involving similar populations, there is likely to be additional transmission and morbidity in the Commonwealth,” DPH wrote.

Also last week, DPH raised the risk level for West Nile virus (WNV) from low to moderate in every Massachusetts city and town.  To date, there have been no reported human WNV cases in Massachusetts, but the humid weather and frequent rainfalls have provided good conditions for the mosquitos carrying WNV to breed, DPH said.