Infectious Diseases

Hepatitis A in Hong Kong

2015 has seen a sudden spike in the number of cases of Hepatitis A in Hong Kong. Compared to the annual average of about 44 cases seen over the last five years, the first 14 weeks of 2015 has already seen a spike in cases of Hepatitis A, with the reported number standing at 64 at the last reckoning. 

In response to the media queries on this issue, the Department of Health issued the following response on April15, 2015:

“Hepatitis A is a statutory notifiable infectious disease in Hong Kong. CHP will carry out epidemiological investigations for every cases of hepatitis A in due course to understand whether the patients had consumed high risk-food like shellfish and berries during the incubation period, and will implement appropriate preventive and control measures. 

As of yesterday (14 Apr 2015), CHP has recorded 64 cases of hepatitisA infection this year, comprising 32 males and 32 females aged 11 to83. All patients are in stable condition with no death recorded. Amongthem, only 19 cases had consumed various types of berries, while only8 of them had consumed blueberries during the incubation period.Epidemiological investigations so far did not show sufficient evidence of epidemiological linkage between the increase of hepatitis A cases and eating blueberries.”

Skeptic Oslerphile. PhD Student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Past: 1) Public Health Scientist and Program Manager, Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 2) Scientist, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases; 3) Senior Research Associate, Public Health Foundation of India. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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