The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines for providing emergency smallpox vaccinations proved useful and practical during a hepatitis A outbreak.
In August and September 2003, tainted green onions from an eastern Tennessee restaurant led to 65 cases of hepatitis A. After tests confirmed hepatitis A in employees and patrons, two regional health departments established a single mass-site clinic. The health departments estimated that roughly 6,000 patrons had eaten at the restaurant during the spread of the outbreak. The mass clinic provided immune serum globulin (ISG), a hepatitis preventive.
This article describes the mass clinic built in response to the Tennessee hepatitis outbreak; the authors present statistics from the four days that the clinic operated; in addition, the article discusses how the Tennessee mass clinic applied CDC guidelines.
Two regional health departments in east Tennessee successfully adapted CDC guidelines for providing smallpox vaccines in emergency mass clinics. The Tennessee hepatitis A mass clinics can serve as a guide for responding to future outbreaks.