Outbreaks in Illinois

Below are outbreaks, investigations, disease concerns, and increased activity in 2020 that include cases in Illinois or have a wide impact in Illinois.

Hepatitis A

Statewide Hepatitis A Person-to-Person Community Outbreak

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) declared a statewide hepatitis A community outbreak in December 2018 after observing an increase in person-to-person transmitted hepatitis A cases.

As of December 31, 2019 – 177 cases have been associated with the outbreak statewide.

Individuals most at risk for this outbreak include men who have sex with men (MSM), individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals who use drugs, and individuals who were recently incarcerated.

IDPH recommends people at risk for hepatitis A infection contact a health care provider or local health department for information about vaccination. Individuals who have been exposed to someone with hepatitis A should also contact a health care provider or local health department about post-exposure vaccination.

IDPH, in partnership with local health departments, is offering free hepatitis A vaccine to individuals most at risk of infection.

Although a vaccine is available for hepatitis A, outbreaks can occur when infected individuals have close contact with others at risk of contracting the disease .

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, infectious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is passed easily from one person to another through food, water, drug use, and sex. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. http://www.dph.illinois.gov/hepatitisA

Most recent news release - http://www.dph.illinois.gov/news/six-new-cases-hepatitis-within-past-week

Updated Date:
January 2, 2020

Campylobacter Outbreak

Multistate outbreak of multi-drug resistant Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to puppies purchased from pet stores

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted an investigation notice for a multistate outbreak of multi-drug resistant Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to puppies purchased from pet stores. Puppies can carry Campylobacter in their feces. Puppies may experience diarrhea associated with Campylobacter or can show no symptoms and still may carry the germ.

  • As of December 17, 2019, 30 cases have been associated with the outbreak nationwide, including one Illinois resident with specialized testing.
  • According to the CDC, illness started from January 6, 2019 through November 10, 2019.  Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.
  • Individuals most at risk are those who purchased puppies from pet stores, especially from a national pet store chain.

IDPH recommends that groups and pet stores who sell or place puppies with families, not place puppies with diarrhea with families. However, even puppies without diarrhea can have this germ in their feces.  Therefore, anyone who handles dogs, especially puppies, and feces from dog should carefully wash their hands after handling the dog or the feces from the dog. Veterinarians should be judicious in their use of antibiotics when working with individual dogs and groups of dogs.

IDPH is coordinating with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to share information on any puppies sold while ill from pet stores in the state.

CDC reported a similar multi-state outbreak in 2018.

Additional information can be found on the following websites.

Updated Date:
January 2, 2020