Rapid risk assessment: Hepatitis A outbreaks in the EU/EEA mostly affecting men who have sex with men, 2nd update, 19 May 2017

risk assessment
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Hepatitis A outbreaks in the EU/EEA mostly affecting men who have sex with men – second update, 19 May 2017. Stockholm: ECDC; 2017.

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Since June 2016, 1 173 confirmed hepatitis A cases infected with three distinct strains of sub-genotype IA virus have been reported by 15 EU countries. These include 499 new cases compared with the data reported in the last epidemiological update published on 28 April 2017 [1]. Two additional countries reported cases (compared to the first rapid risk assessment update published on 23 February 2017) [2]. Overall, most cases are reported among adult men who have sex with men (MSM); 80 women were also affected.

Executive summary

The main prevention measure in the context of the current outbreaks is hepatitis A vaccination of MSM. The ECDC guidance for HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention among MSM encourages Member States to offer and promote vaccination of MSM against hepatitis A [3]. Information on vaccine availability should be included in health promotion programmes targeting MSM, particularly at sex venues [4].

​This rapid risk assessment is the second update of a previous assessment on the ongoing transmission of hepatitis A virus infection mainly affecting men who have sex with men in EU/EEA countries.