By declaring the 24 known cases to be an outbreak, the health agency hopes to raise the public’s awareness about the disease, convince those who are at risk for hepatitis A to get vaccinated and to best coordinate federal, state and community resources.
Most of the recent cases have been reported in Morehouse Parish, cases have been reported in other parts of the state.
A common pathway has not been established by health officials. Dr. Frank Welch, immunization director for the Louisiana Department of Health, said transmission of the virus appears to be through direct person-to-person spread and illicit drug use.
Officials add that people with a history of injection and non-injection drug use, homelessness or transient housing and incarceration are most at-risk in this outbreak.