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Extensive hepatitis A outbreak in an urban childcare facility in Ireland, associated with considerable adult morbidity

  • L. O'Connor (a1), E. McGovern (a1), M. O'Meara (a1), J. Dean (a2), M. Ward (a1) and M. O'Connor (a1)...
Abstract

Hepatitis A infection results in a spectrum of illness from asymptomatic disease to severe fulminant hepatitis. Since 2000, <50 cases have been reported annually in Ireland. We report on an outbreak of hepatitis A associated with a childcare facility(CCF) in 2015 in Ireland. Between January and July 2015, 12 outbreak-associated symptomatic hepatitis A cases were identified, including one delayed, retrospective diagnosis. Seven (58%) cases were adults, eight (67%) were male, six of the adults required hospitalisation. All 12 cases were confirmed on serology and the four cases that were genotyped were identical on phylogenetic analysis. Potential environmental exposures and hygiene practices at the CCF were investigated. Outbreak control measures included the provision of: hepatitis A information, infection prevention advice, hepatitis A vaccination to 554 CCF contacts, and voluntary closure of the CCF for deep-cleaning and staff education. From a healthcare perspective1, outbreak control costs were in excess of €45 000. This outbreak illustrates the considerable adult morbidity that can occur in hepatitis A outbreaks, highlights the challenges in controlling a large CCF-associated outbreak and the importance of early recognition by clinicians of hepatitis A.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Lois O'Connor, E-mail: lois.oconnor@hpsc.ie
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These authors contributed equally to this article and share first authorship.

1

Healthcare perspective costs include medical care, laboratory investigation and vaccine provision but do not include medical staff costs.

Footnotes
References
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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