Mississippi State Department of Health

The Mississippi State Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A virus infections in Mississippi. Since April 2019, there has been marked and sustained transmission of hepatitis A in the state. This recent sharp increase follows a national trend of hepatitis A spread, as well as recent increases in neighboring states.

The outbreak in Mississippi is mainly affecting certain high-risk groups:

The Mississippi State Department of health strongly recommends that people in these high-risk groups be vaccinated against hepatitis A.

Mississippi snapshot as of February 26, 2020

Outbreak Cases


Since April 1, 2019

% Hospitalized




Case Statistics
  • Age range: 2–90 years of age (median age: 36 years)
  • Male: 114 (61%); Female: 73 (39%)
  • Recreational drug use: 136 (74%)
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM): 3 (3%)
  • Homeless: 36 (20%)
  • Incarcerated/Recently Incarcerated: 4 (4%)


What Is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a viral disease of the liver transmitted by close personal contact, including sexual contact, or consumption of food or water contaminated by an infected person. Hepatitis A causes fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice for up to two months of infection. Vaccination is the best protection against hepatitis A infection.

How is Hepatitis A Spread?

Hepatitis A infection spreads from an infected person to other by personal contact or contact with objects or food they handle:

Hepatitis A Prevention

Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A virus infection. Hepatitis A vaccination is strongly recommended for persons at higher risk in the current outbreak:

In addition, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also recommends routine hepatitis A vaccination for the following people:

Getting Vaccinated

Hepatitis A vaccine can be obtained through your healthcare provider or pharmacist. If you are uninsured or underinsured, vaccination is available through any county health department.

More Information

Links referenced
Advisory: 2019 Hepatitis A Outbreak in Mississippi    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/23,8451,386,pdf/MSHAN-20190802-00149-ADV_HepA.pdf
County health department locations    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/19,0,166,html
Hepatitis A information from the CDC    https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/index.htm

Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm

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