News from Hepatitis Week of June 29, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 26

CDC Team Sent to Deal With Hepatitis Outbreak in Wyoming

A team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has been sent to Casper, Wyoming to help deal with an outbreak of hepatitis B and C that apparently began in February.

The number of confirmed hepatitis cases is now 57, with more than 30 potential cases pending, according to Casper-Natrona County Health Director Bob Harrington.

Those infected in the outbreak range in age from 18 to 54, with males making up 56 percent of the cases, Harrington said. He said sexual contact and indirect sharing of drug paraphernalia appear to be linked to the higher number of cases of hepatitis B.

The CDC team is expected to stay three weeks, and help local officials determine who is getting infected, how they are getting infected and how to prevent further infection, according to Dr. Joe Perz, a research epidemiologist in the division of viral hepatitis.

About six CDC teams are sent to deal with hepatitis outbreaks every year at the request of state health departments, Perz added.

Other sources: Casper Star Tribune