US advisory group urges hepatitis A shots for homeless
A U.S. advisory committee is recommending routine hepatitis A vaccinations for homeless people, following an increase in outbreaks of the contagious liver disease.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices made the recommendation at a meeting Wednesday in Atlanta.
Homeless encampments can contribute to disease through unsanitary conditions. Hepatitis A spreads person to person through contaminated food or dirty needles used for injection drugs.
The virus also can spread from sexual contact with an infected person.
The recommendation would make it easier for shelters and other groups serving the homeless to offer hepatitis A shots along with other services.
Hepatitis A vaccinations already are recommended for children at age 1 and for others in danger of infection, such as drug users, some international travelers and men who have sex with men.