Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Mild cases can last a few weeks while severe cases can last several months.

Los Angeles County is experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis A. The majority of cases are occurring in individuals who are homeless and/or use illicit drugs. Outbreaks of hepatitis A in persons who are homeless and/or use illicit drugs are also occurring in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties.

Anyone can get hepatitis A, but you are at higher risk if you:
– Are homeless and/or use illicit drugs
– Live with someone who has hepatitis A
– Use recreational drugs
– Are a man who has sex with men
– Have sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis
– Travel or live in countries where hepatitis A is common

Hepatitis A can be spread by:
– Touching objects or eating food that someone with hepatitis A infection has handled
– Having sex with someone who has a hepatitis A infection
– Consuming food or drinks that are contaminated by the virus
– Sharing needles, pipes or other items when using drugs
– Forgetting to wash your hands after cleaning up the stool or changing the diaper of an infected person

How to Prevent Hepatitis A Infection
The best way to prevent hepatitis A is by getting vaccinated
– The hepatitis A vaccine is given as 2 shots, 6 months apart
– The vaccine is safe and effective
– Even a single dose is highly effective in adults
– If you cannot remember if you got the hepatitis A vaccine, there is no harm in getting it again
– Visit your doctor’s office, a pharmacy, or call 2-1-1 to find a local clinic or doctor

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