A total of 19 cases of Hepatitis A virus (HAV) have been identified in the Tel Aviv are between December 2016 and June 2017. Of these 17 cases are in men who have sex with men (MSM). Sewage sampling has also provided evidence of the presence of HAV in the area, with the virus found in 7 out of 15 samples examined between January and June 2017.
Seven of the 15 sewage samples collected between January and June 2017 were also HAV-positive. Testing of the samples showed a similarity to viruses identified in an outbreak currently occurring in Europe.
Advice for travellers
Hepatitis A is spread by the faecal-oral route, usually through contaminated food and water, but transmission by person-to-person sexual contact is likely the main route of transmission in this setting. Vaccination against hepatitis A should be offered to at-risk MSM, regardless of whether they are travelling to or going to reside in areas of high or intermediate prevalence. Advice on maintaining good personal hygiene and taking care with food and drink is also warranted.
For further information see Hepatitis A.