Increase in hepatitis A

22 November 2017 - Communicable Disease Control Branch

South Australia has seen an increase in hepatitis A cases, with three reported in the past week and a total of ten notifications in 2017, compared to seven in 2016. Hepatitis A is usually acquired overseas, but in 2017 six cases have occurred locally and one case interstate. From mid-2017 a large increase in locally acquired cases in men who have sex with men has been observed in New South Wales and Victoria. Several cases in South Australia have involved men who have sex with men.

Hepatitis A is spread through person-to-person transmission, including sexual activity, and through contaminated food and water. The incubation period is 15 to 50 days. Patients frequently experience fever, malaise, anorexia, right upper quadrant pain and nausea, followed a few days later by dark urine and jaundice. Cases are infectious for two weeks before to seven days after the onset of jaundice. There is no specific treatment and most cases fully recover, but ongoing monitoring is required as rarely complications including fulminant hepatitis can occur.

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Meningococcal W outbreak in APY Lands

5 October 2017 - Communicable Disease Control Branch

In the past two weeks three confirmed cases of invasive meningococcal W disease (MenW) have occurred in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands. All cases were in Aboriginal children and appear to be related to a larger outbreak of MenW in the Northern Territory, again predominantly affecting Aboriginal children.

The Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) routinely undertakes contact tracing for all invasive meningococcal cases (IMD) and, where indicated, arranges clearance antibiotics and vaccination. In response to the current outbreak, the CDCB is also co-ordinating a wider ACWY vaccination program in conjunction with local health clinics in the APY lands.

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