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Public Health Rep. 2010 Sep-Oct;125(5):642-6.

An outbreak of hepatitis A among primary and secondary contacts of an international adoptee.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.


The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that susceptible people traveling to developing countries receive hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin prior to departure. Until 2009, the recommendations did not address non-traveling family members or other close contacts of international adoptees. We report an outbreak of hepatitis A in 2008 that occurred in Maine. Eight members of an extended family developed hepatitis A following the arrival of an asymptomatic infant from Ethiopia who was brought to the United States by an adoption agency. Two children in the family attended an elementary school where five additional cases of hepatitis A were subsequently identified. Only three (1%) of 208 students at the school had previously been immunized against hepatitis A. This outbreak highlights the need to immunize household members and other close contacts of families adopting children from countries where hepatitis A is endemic, as well as all children at one year of age.

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