Hepatitis A and the Opioid Crisis

by August 21, 2019

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.

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