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The role of young children in a community-wide outbreak of hepatitis A

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 1997

P. F. SMITH
Affiliation:
Division of Epidemiology, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany, NY
J. C. GRABAU
Affiliation:
Division of Epidemiology, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
A. WERZBERGER
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY
R. A. GUNN
Affiliation:
Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
H. R. ROLKA
Affiliation:
Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
S. F. KONDRACKI
Affiliation:
Division of Epidemiology, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
R. J. GALLO
Affiliation:
Division of Epidemiology, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
D. L. MORSE
Affiliation:
Division of Epidemiology, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany, NY
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Abstract

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An Hasidic Jewish community has experienced recurrent hepatitis A outbreaks since 1980. To assess risk factors for illness during a 1985–6 outbreak, the authors reviewed case records and randomly selected 93 households for an interview and serologic survey. In the outbreak, 117 cases of hepatitis A were identified, with the highest attack rate (4·2%) among 3–5 year olds. Among the survey households, the presence of 3–5 year olds was the only risk factor that increased a household's risk of hepatitis A (indeterminant relative risk, P=0·02). Furthermore, case households from the outbreak were more likely to have 3–5 year olds than were control households from the survey (odds ratio=16·4, P<0·001). Children 3–5 years old were more likely to have hepatitis A and may have been the most frequent transmitters of hepatitis A in this community. Hepatitis A vaccination of 3–5 year olds can protect this age group and might prevent future outbreaks in this community.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1997 Cambridge University Press
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