Wayne County Hepatitis B Outbreak Summary

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Background

On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, the North Carolina Division of Public Health was notified by the Wayne County Health Department of four cases of Hepatitis B among residents of an assisted living facility (ALF) in Mt. Olive. The census of this ALF is usually near 58, consisting of elderly persons and others with dementia and mental illness requiring varying degrees of assistance with activities of daily living.  

Because acute Hepatitis B infections in the elderly are uncommon and often associated with healthcare exposures, the Wayne County Health Department and the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NC DPH) investigated to characterize the extent of the outbreak and to identify how residents were being exposed to infection in order to control the outbreak. NC DPH informed the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation of the outbreak. more…http://www.wcti12.com/download/2010/1112/25774433.pdf  

Case finding and case description

Upon review of the hospital charts, discussion with Wayne Memorial Hospital, and a serologic survey of the facility, four additional cases of acute Hepatitis B infection were identified, bringing the total number of cases to eight (see Figure 1). Seven (88%) had detectable Hepatitis B surface antigen, and five (63%) had detectable Hepatitis B core IgM. All eight were hospitalized during August 22–October 24, 2010, although two were hospitalized for reasons not related to Hepatitis B infection. As of November 9, 2010, five (63%) have died from their hepatitis infection. Because of the high mortality rate, HDV antibody testing was performed on three of the acute cases, including two of the deceased, but was negative for all. more…http://www.wcti12.com/download/2010/1112/25774433.pdf

Reference: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Epidemiology Section Communicable Disease Branch

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