As the opioid crisis continues, other health consequences of drug use are on the rise. Since 2016, hepatitis A has caused more than 230 deaths. As of August, 2019, there were 494 cases of hepatitis A in Massachusetts (and seven deaths) since the onset of the local outbreak in April of 2018.
Individuals at highest risk for hepatitis A include people who:
- Use drugs (injection or other routes)
- Are experiencing unstable housing or homelessness
- Are in prison or were recently released
- Have chronic liver disease (like hepatitis B, hepatitis C or cirrhosis)
Fortunately, a single dose of the hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A and help control outbreaks. If you, or someone you know is at risk for hepatitis A, talk to your doctor about the vaccine.