HEP A Epidemic in Lisbon

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In Portugal, the National Health Board (DGS) reports a sharp rise in the number of cases of Hepatitis A. Most of these cases come from the Greater Lisbon area.

The DGS stated that more than 100 new cases have been registered in that region since the start of 2017.

Europe is currently reporting outbreaks of Hepatitis A that are linked to adult men. Since February 2016, 287 cases have been reported in a total of 13 countries, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

”Last year in Europe we began to see abnormal activity in the disease. It seems to have originated in the Netherlands and then spread to other countries. The UK was the first to report an increase in the number of cases and currently there are about 13 countries reporting this increase, including Portugal.  To give you a sense of the magnitude, last year we had six [new] cases reported and now we have a hundred,” Isabel Aldir, the director of the DGS’s national programme for viral hepatitis.

Ms. Aldir went on to say that the spike in hepatitis A cases is linked with MSM (men who have sex with men), which is a risk factor for spreading the virus.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness. According to the CDC, most people fully recover from Hepatitis A with lifelong immunity. However, a very small proportion of people infected with Hepatitis A could die from fulminant Hepatitis.

The main prevention measure of a Hepatitis is Hepatitis A vaccination.

GlaxoSmithKline's Havrix and Merck's Vaqta are vaccines preventing Hepatitis A

GlaxoSmithKline's Twinrix is a vaccination for preventing both Hepatitis A and B for adults 18+

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.