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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2018 Oct 1;8(10). pii: a031716. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a031716.

Globalization and the Changing Epidemiology of Hepatitis A Virus.

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1
College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia 22030.

Abstract

Increased economic interdependence, social integration, and other aspects of globalization are contributing to significant changes in hepatitis A epidemiology. Globally, the incidence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection is decreasing, the age at midpoint of population immunity (AMPI) is increasing, and the proportion of symptomatic cases is increasing as the average age at infection increases. In low-income countries, HAV remains endemic but improved water and sanitation systems are reducing transmission rates among young children. In high-income countries, most adults remain susceptible to HAV and foodborne outbreaks are becoming more frequent. Middle-income countries have diverse epidemiological profiles, and they play important roles in the global spread of HAV through international trade and travel. Future changes in the epidemiology of hepatitis A will be heavily influenced by globalization processes.

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