Hepatitis is defined as an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is commonly caused by a virus. The most common types are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. There are two other types, Hepatitis D and Hepatitis E, which are more common in other countries. To learn more about Hepatitis, see RESOURCES in the right-hand column. For data and statistics specific to Hepatitis, see IQuery and/or data.illinois.gov under RESOURCES in the right-hand column.
Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation. An estimated 4.4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis but most do not know that they are infected.
There are vaccines available for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. For more information about Viral Hepatitis Vaccines, see the Immunization under RESOURCES in the right-hand column.
Hepatitis A Outbreaks in the United States
In the fall of 2017, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) issued a memo regarding multiple outbreaks of hepatitis A in the U.S. So far in 2018, many of these outbreaks are still ongoing and additional outbreaks have been reported in several states such as Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky. These outbreaks are predominantly occurring in the homeless populations and in persons who use injection and non-injection drugs (IDU), along with close contacts of both groups. Additional outbreak clusters have also been identified in men who have sex with other men (MSM) and persons who are or have recently been incarcerated. On June 5, 2018, IDPH sent a memo to local health departments and medical providers encouraging the continuation of testing, reporting and vaccination of populations at risk for Hepatitis A.