Print version ISSN 0213-9111
DIAZ VILLAESCUSA, María José et al. Study of a population outbreak of hepatitis A: Effectiveness of vaccination as a control measure. Gac Sanit [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.4, pp. 329-333. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112010000400011.
Objective: To describe an outbreak of hepatitis A in the city of Albacete (Spain) and to assess the effectiveness of the control measures implemented. Methods: When the outbreak was noted, definitions of a case were established. Clinical and epidemiological data were collected through a survey. The temporal-spatial distribution was identified through mapping and the epidemic curve. Health education and immunoglobulin (IG) administration were conducted as immediate prevention and control measures in the population at risk. Results: From January 2005 to January 2006, 62 cases were reported. The most affected age groups were school children and young adults. Transmission was person to person. The epidemic curve was divided into two periods. Initial control measures consisted of hygiene measures and IG administration to contacts. In the second period, these measures were complemented with vaccination against hepatitis A in students of the school centers of the two neighborhoods initially involved. Due to public alarm and spread of the outbreak to adjacent neighborhoods, vaccination was extended to schools close to those where cases had been detected. No cases were notified after the last vaccination in January 2006. Conclusions: The use of vaccination after exposure to the hepatitis A virus in young adults and the school population seems to be an effective outbreak control measure.
Keywords : Hepatitis A; Hepatitis A vaccine; Outbreaks; Immunoglobulin G.