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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 23(8)

Trends and risk factors for hepatitis A in NSW, 2000–2009: the trouble with travel

Evan Freeman A B D, Siranda Torvaldsen B, Sean Tobin C, Glenda Lawrence B and C. Raina MacIntyre B

A NSW Public Health Officer Training Program, NSW Ministry of Health
B School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales
C Communicable Diseases Branch, NSW Ministry of Health
D Corresponding author. Email: efree@doh.health.nsw.gov.au

NSW Public Health Bulletin 23(8) 153-157 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/NB11036
Published: 21 September 2012

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Aim: To analyse trends in hepatitis A notifications and information on exposure to risk factors, in particular international travel, collected through routine surveillance in NSW. Methods: Hepatitis A notification data for the period 2000–2009 were extracted from the Notifiable Diseases Database and analysed by age group, gender, area of residence and exposure risk factors, including travel, food eaten and contact with other possible infectious cases. Results: The notification rate for hepatitis A in NSW fell from 3.0 cases per 100 000 population in 2000 to 1.4 cases per 100 000 population in 2009. Notification rates were highest among people aged 20–24 years and residents of metropolitan Sydney. Travel to a country where hepatitis A is endemic was a risk exposure identified in 43% of cases. Conclusion: International travel to highly endemic countries continues to be the most common risk factor for hepatitis A infection notified in NSW despite recommendations that travellers be vaccinated prior to travel to these areas.


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