You are here: Home Government Departments Public Health Department News Items 2017 news items Stop Hepatitis A: Get Vaccinated

Stop Hepatitis A: Get Vaccinated

Walk-in for hepatitis A vaccination Monday March 26 from 6-8 pm. Or, call 734-544-6700 to schedule an appointment. Vaccination and good handwashing can prevent the spread of illness.

There is an outbreak of hepatitis A among adults in Washtenaw and other Michigan counties. The hepatitis A vaccine is extremely effective at preventing infection, but the majority of Washtenaw adults have not been vaccinated (70%). Vaccination and good handwashing can prevent the spread of illness. hep A outbreak image

What is Washtenaw County Health Department Doing to Respond?

Reporting Cases in Washtenaw Adults

2016 2017  2018
Most Recent Case
(onset date)*
Total Cases 
1 12  3 Feb. 16, 2018 16 

Note: Numbers are preliminary and may change. *Onset date is when the diagnosed individual first reported symptoms consistent with hepatitis A.

Sharing Information about Risks 

Hepatitis A is a serious, highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is found in the feces (poop) of people with hepatitis A. It is spread by eating contaminated food or water, during sex, or from close contact with an infected person. People experiencing homelessness, using illegal drugs, and men who have sex with men are considered at higher risk in the current outbreak. 

But, there are also cases of hepatitis A among people without these known risks (40% statewide). Washtenaw County Health Department encourages all adults to consider vaccination.

Providing Vaccination 

Washtenaw County Health Department can provide vaccination. Walk in Monday, March 26 from 6-8 pm. Please arrive by 7:30. Or, call 734-544-6700 to schedule an appointment. If you have health insurance, please check with your health care provider or pharmacy first.

NEW: Evening walk-in hours for hepatitis A vaccination continue Monday, March 26 from 6-8 pm. 
Walk-ins continue on the 2nd and 4th Mondays through March and April. Appointments remain available by calling 734-544-6700.

Vaccination is available without additional charge for:

  • People who use injection or non-injection illegal drugs
  • People currently homeless or in transient living
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People incarcerated in correctional facilities
  • People who work with the higher risk groups listed above, including health care providers and first responders
  • People who have close contact, care for, or live with someone who has hepatitis A
  • People with liver disease (such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or cirrhosis) or clotting factor disorders
  • People who prepare food for others, such as food service employees and restaurant workers
  • People without insurance or with Medicaid

If you do not meet any of the above conditions, vaccination is available but fees may apply. 

Making Vaccination Widely Available 

Washtenaw County Health Department is working with service providers, nonprofits, and restaurants to offer vaccination at community locations. If your organization or business is willing to host a vaccination clinic, please contact us

Washtenaw County Health Department and area health care providers have given over 6,000 hepatitis A vaccinations to local adults since October 2017 (Michigan Care Improvement Registry).

Contacting Anyone that may have been exposed to Hepatitis A 

This is done to alert individuals to the symptoms and to provide vaccination. Vaccination within two weeks of exposure can prevent infection.

About Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus, and it can cause damage to the liver and other health problems. Hepatitis A can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain or tenderness, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Most children less than 6 years do not experience symptoms. Symptoms typically appear 2 to 6 weeks after exposure. Individuals with symptoms should call their provider or seek care.

How is it spread?

The virus is found in the feces (poop) of people with hepatitis A. Most infections result from contact with an infected household member or sex partners. The virus can also be spread by consuming food or drink that has been handled by someone with hepatitis A. It is not spread through coughs or sneezes. Someone who has hepatitis A can spread it to others for up to 2 weeks before symptoms appear.

Preventionhand washing

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is to get vaccinated. One dose is almost 95 percent effective at preventing infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since 2006, the hepatitis A vaccine has been routinely recommended for children. But, only 30% of adults in Washtenaw County have been vaccinated against hepatitis A - which means the majority of local adults are not vaccinated.

Frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom and before handling food can also help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Freezing does not kill the virus.

Outbreak in Southeast Michigan

As of March 14, 2018, there have been 783 cases of hepatitis A diagnosed and 25 deaths in Michigan since Aug. 2016. Learn more about the Southeast Michigan outbreak at No common sources of food, beverages, or drugs have been identified as a potential source of infection.

Additional Information


Document Actions
Google Translate