A Rapid outbreak of Hepatitis A among the EU/EEA

On the last week European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) released a warning on a rapid spread of Hepatitis A in the EU/EEA mostly affecting men having sex with men. According to the ECDC data, during the last year there have been 287 new A hepatitis cases, of which 263 – reported only during the last two month in 13 EU countries.

“Although most of these cases are affecting men having sex with men, we cannot forget that this infection can affect anyone, because hepatitis A is so called “disease of dirty hands” spreading not only when contacting infected person but also with “dirty” (contaminated) drinking water, unwashed fruits and food. Keeping in mind that the outbreak is reported in the closest European countries, travelers should be very careful”, warns Inga Upmace, Chairman of the board of NGO Baltic HIV Association.

As reported by ECDC the outbreak has affected following countries – Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Portugal, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. ECDC also encourages men having sex with men to take safety measures by following after personal hygiene, washing hands, as well as taking vaccine if planning to attend any of the above mentioned countries.

Statistics published by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control in Latvia shows that from January – November 2016 acute hepatitis A reported only in 9 cases, but that does not exclude further possibility of increase of this infection.

You may read the full report of ECDC here.