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Vaccines and Immunizations

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Foodborne Outbreak Investigation Manual

An online resource for foodborne outbreak management.

Hepatitis A


A hepatitis A vaccine is available and is recommended for the following persons:

  • All children aged 12 to 23 months
  • Travelers to areas with increased incidence of hepatitis A
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Illegal drug users (injection and non-injection users)
  • People with blood clotting disorders (e.g., hemophilia)
  • People with chronic liver disease (including persons with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C infection)
  • Residents of a community experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis A

Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin administration is also recommended for close contacts of infected individuals within two weeks of exposure. Close contacts include the following:

  • Household contacts
  • Sexual contacts
  • Playmates
  • Attendees at childcare centers
  • Persons sharing illegal drugs
  • Persons sharing food or beverages
  • Persons in common source exposure situations (i.e., co-workers or restaurant patrons where an infected food workers has been identified

The following precautions should also be observed to help prevent the spread of this disease:

  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after using the toilet or changing diapers
  • Wash children’s hands with soap and warm water after a diaper change
  • Teach children to always wash their hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet
  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after preparing any food
  • People with diarrhea should NEVER prepare food for others

Once an infected individual recovers from hepatitis A, they are immune for life and do not continue to carry the virus.

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