Hepatitis A virus outbreak in Lebanon: Is it a matter of concern?

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2022 Sep 13:82:104585. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2022.104585. eCollection 2022 Oct.


Lebanon has been grappling with hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreaks for 3 decades, to an extent that it has been now termed an endemic zone for HAV. However, the rise in cases above the annual average concerns a potential outbreak in the North, and the Bekaa governorates of Lebanon must be highlighted. Although the Lebanese health authorities have ordered a probe into the possible causes of the outbreak, it has been speculated that the immigration of Syrian refugees has overburdened public health services. Reduced seroprevalence of HAV immunoglobulin G has also led to an epidemiological shift from child to adult populations. The current economic crisis affecting Lebanese society is another significant problem that could have contributed to the rise in incidents. This article examines Lebanon's current HAV outbreak and epidemiological status, offering suggestions for the future. In the event of an outbreak, the infrastructure for water sanitation and sewage is known to allow HAV to spread via the faecal-oral pathway. Maintaining personal hygiene, early detection, and vaccination have all been recommended as significant regional and individual control measures.

Keywords: HAV; Hepatitis A virus; Lebanon; Outbreak.