Health Indicator Report of Hepatitis A Infections
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter--even in microscopic amounts--from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces or stool of an infected person. The best way to prevent hepatitis A is by getting vaccinated. Rates of hepatitis A in the United States are the lowest they have been in 40 years. The hepatitis A vaccine was introduced in 1995 and health professionals now routinely vaccinate all children, travelers to certain countries, and persons at risk for the disease. Hepatitis A vaccination has dramatically affected rates of the disease in the United States and the number of reported cases in the state has steadily decreased since that time. Surveillance data are used to detect outbreaks, determine the effectiveness of hepatitis A immunizations, monitor disease incidence in all age groups, determine the epidemiologic characteristics of infected persons including source of infection, and assess and reduce missed opportunities for vaccination. In the U.S., there were 1,987 new hepatitis A virus infections reported to CDC in 2009. The actual number of cases is considered to be much higher, since many people who are infected never have symptoms and are never reported to public health officials. It is estimated that there were 10,000 new infections in 2009 in the U.S.
Number of Reported Hepatitis A Infections per 100,000 Population per Year, Utah and U.S., 1990-2013
NotesThe U.S. rates are derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports. The Utah rates are derived from Utah annual surveillance reports. Data has not been finalized for the United States for 2010-2013.
- Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Population Estimates: Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget
- National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2013
Data Interpretation IssuesThe rate reported is number of cases per 100,000 population per year.
DefinitionHepatitis A is a liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A virus. A hepatitis A case is defined as a person meeting specific laboratory criteria who has a clinical presentation of the disease.
NumeratorNumber of confirmed hepatitis A infections reported in Utah each year.
DenominatorTotal Utah population per year.
Healthy People Objective IID-1:Reduce, eliminate, or maintain elimination of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases
U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category
Other ObjectivesUtah's 42 Community Health Indicators
How Are We Doing?The number of hepatitis A infections reported in Utah annually has decreased significantly since 1997. Acute hepatitis A incidence in the U.S. has declined more than 90%, from 12.0 cases per 100,000 population per year in 1995 to 0.6 cases per 100,000 population per year in 2009. Declines were greatest among children and in those states where routine vaccination of children was recommended beginning in 1999.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The average number of cases reported per 100,000 Utah population per year since 1998 has been lower than the national average. For 2009 (the most recent year available for U.S.), Utah reported an incidence of 0.3 cases per 100,000 population per year as compared to the U.S. rate of 0.6 cases per 100,000 population per year.
What Is Being Done?According to the Communicable Disease Rule R386-702-3, health care providers and laboratories are required to report suspected cases of hepatitis A immediately by telephone to the Bureau of Epidemiology or a local health department. The Bureau of Epidemiology assists local health departments with case management and implementation of control measures to prevent additional cases as needed. The Bureau of Epidemiology conducts ongoing statewide surveillance of hepatitis A cases.
Available ServicesPublic health clinics and private provider offices offer vaccine for adults, adolescents, and children in their communities. For general information about immunizations please call the state Immunization Program at 1-800-275-0659, or visit us at our website: www.immunize-utah.org.
Page Content Updated On 09/22/2014, Published on 10/09/2014