Hepatitis A is a virus that is primarily transmitted via the faecal-oral route after close contact with an infected person. It is the most common cause of viral hepatitis globally; symptoms tend to be acute and self-limiting, but the disease rarely can cause liver failure and death.

Hepatitis A incidence rate

Hepatitis A is prominent in the US with a diagnosed incidence two to seven times as high as Western European markets and Japan. New reports have shown that incident cases have increased more dramatically than GlobalData has predicted for 2016–2018.

In May 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on hepatitis A infections in the US. They reported an increase of 294% in hepatitis A infections in the years 2016–2018 compared with 2013–2015.

Numerous infectious outbreaks seen in the homeless and drug users were reported, accounting for a large proportion of the cases. Hepatitis A-contaminated foods played a smaller role in the cases seen, whereas a rise in infections was seen in men who have sex with men.

GlobalData’s epidemiology and market size database’s hepatitis A forecast from 2016–2026 shows the diagnosed incidence rates for Hepatitis A in the 16 major markets (16MM: the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea).

GlobalData forecast 2,025 new cases in the US for the year 2016, which lines up with the CDC report of 2,007 cases. GlobalData’s forecast, based on historical data, was 2,041 and 2,058 cases for 2017 and 2018, respectively.

However, the CDC’s new data showed that between 2017 and 2018, 12,993 cases were documented. This new information could mean that the US has risen from 6th out of the 16MM to 3rd, behind only China and India, in terms of having the highest incident cases of hepatitis A.

The figure below presents CDC reported national hepatitis A diagnosed incidence for 2016–2018 compared with GlobalData’s forecast for hepatitis A in the US for 2016–2018 using historical data.

CDC hepatitis A incident cases 2016–2018 in the US compared with GlobalData projection

Source: GlobalData