Hepatitis A Outbreak in Mexico

What is the current situation?

As of May 1, 2015, a total of 27 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in US travelers who went to Tulum, Mexico. All of the people traveled between the dates of February 15, 2015, and March 20, 2015.

CDC recommends that travelers to Mexico get vaccinated against hepatitis A and follow all food and water precautions.

What can travelers do to prevent hepatitis A?

Get a hepatitis A vaccine:

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about hepatitis A vaccine.
    • The hepatitis A vaccine is given in 2 doses, 6 months apart. The vaccine is nearly 100% effective and has been a routine childhood vaccine in the United States since 2005.
      • If you returned from travel to Tulum, Mexico, in the last 14 days, talk to your doctor about receiving a dose of hepatitis A vaccine, which can prevent or reduce the symptoms of hepatitis A if given within 14 days of exposure.
    • See Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) for more information.

Eat safe foods:

Eat

Learn more about hepatitis A.

  • Food that is cooked and served hot
  • Hard-cooked eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables you have washed in clean water or peeled yourself
  • Pasteurized dairy products

Don't eat

  • Food served at room temperature
  • Food from street vendors
  • Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs
  • Raw or undercooked (rare) meat or fish and other seafood
  • Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables
  • Peelings from fruit or vegetables
  • Condiments (such as salsa) made with fresh ingredients
  • Salads
  • Unpasteurized dairy products
  • ”Bushmeat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game)

Drink safe beverages:

Drink

  • Bottled water that is sealed (carbonated is safer)
  • Water that has been disinfected (boiled, filtered, treated)
  • Ice made with bottled or disinfected water
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Hot coffee or tea
  • Pasteurized milk

Don't drink

  • Tap or well water
  • Ice made with tap or well water
  • Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
  • Open market drinks made with fresh fruit pulp (aguas frescas)
  • Flavored ice and popsicles
  • Unpasteurized milk

For more information see Food and Water Safety

Practice hygiene and cleanliness:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people who are sick.

If you feel sick and think you may have hepatitis A:

  • Talk to your doctor or nurse if you feel seriously ill, especially if you have symptoms, including a fever, yellow eyes or skin, stomach pain, dark urine or fatigue.
    • Tell them about your travel.
    • For more information about medical care abroad, see Getting Health Care Abroad.
  • Avoid contact with other people while you are sick.
    • Do not prepare or serve food to other people.

Traveler Information

Clinician Information

Eamonn Vitt