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October 5, 1979

Viral Hepatitis Associated With Day-care Centers

Author Affiliations

From the Office of Health Services and Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Health and Human Resources, New Orleans (Mss McFarland, Kelso, and Heilman and Dr Caraway), and the Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta (Dr Storch). Dr Storch is now with the Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis. Ms Heilman is now with the Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, Mich.

JAMA. 1979;242(14):1514-1518. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300140030018

From September 1976 through March 1978, we investigated 11 outbreaks of non-B viral hepatitis associated with Louisiana day-care centers. The outbreaks included 168 cases, most of which were erroneously considered "sporadic" cases of non-B viral hepatitis prior to the investigations. Thirteen percent of all non-B viral hepatitis cases reported in the New Orleans metropolitan area during 1977 were associated with one of the outbreaks. Most of the cases in each outbreak and 85% overall were in older, usually adult, contacts of children attending the day-care centers. Within the household, parents appeared to be at greatest risk, particularly those who had 1- to 2-year-old children in the day-care center. Day-care center outbreaks of non-B hepatitis are easily overlooked and may be more widespread than is currently appreciated.

(JAMA 242:1514-1518, 1979)