Understand Your Risk for Hepatitis A (and How to Prevent It)
July 28 marks World Hepatitis Day, one of the World Health Organization’s global public health awareness campaign days. The goal is to educate about the different types of viral hepatitis, including Hepatitis A which has been causing an outbreak in the United States.
After a consistent 20-year downward trend in cases, Hepatitis A spiked in a nationwide outbreak, beginning in California and Michigan in 2016 and extending to include 33 states by early 2020. During this time, there have been more than 33,000 reported cases, with 61% of infected persons hospitalized, and 329 deaths, making it the largest person-to-person Hepatitis A virus outbreak in the postvaccine era.
Anyone can be at risk for Hepatitis A but some people are at higher risk. Hepatitis prevention and treatment services must continue during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure progress towards elimination.
I was joined by Dr. Len Friedland, Vice President and Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines, North America at GSK to talk more about this preventable disease from symptoms to risk factors and the importance of a vaccine.
For more information on Hepatitis A, visit CDC.gov.
MORE ABOUT DR. LEN FRIEDLAND:
Dr. Len Friedland is Vice President and Director, Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines, North America at GSK. He is also a licensed pediatrician in the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Friedland has held many positions in clinical research and development with GSK since 2003, specializing in infectious disease vaccination. Prior to his work at GSK, Dr. Friedland was Division Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Friedland studied medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and conducted his residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and his fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, also in Philadelphia. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Alternate Industry Representative to the FDA Vaccines and Related Biologics Product Advisory Committee, and the Industry Representative Member on the Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Advisory Committee. He has published over 45 peer reviewed articles as well as book chapters on healthcare and vaccination topics during his career.