The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released an official health advisory related to Hepatitis A (HAV) outbreaks in multiple states among persons experiencing homelessness and using drugs. HUD is tracking these outbreaks, recognizing that individuals living in unsheltered situations, particularly those with histories of substance use or chronic alcohol use, individuals lacking access to primary healthcare, or those without access to sanitary bathrooms, may be exceptionally vulnerable to the impact of the virus. This infectious disease is particularly harmful to individuals with degraded liver functions.
The CDC’s alert provides guidance for programs serving affected populations to assist in identifying and preventing new infections. This guidance is also a useful tool for Continuums of Care (CoCs) to initiate a dialogue with local public health officials.
The Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) encourages all Continuums and homeless assistance providers to review the CDC’s health advisory and become familiar with local public health protocols for the treatment and prevention of Hepatitis A. Providers need to know how to prevent the spread of this disease through proper sanitation and facility cleaning. For additional information on these practices, please see an example of local guidance developed by the Louisville, KY Department of Public Health and Wellness.
If your community requires technical assistance (TA) to strengthen partnerships with public health officials or to limit the impact and spread of Hepatitis A, please submit a TA request to the HUD Exchange using the green “Request Program Assistance” button at the bottom of the page and follow the subsequent instructions.