Screening for hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection is not currently routinely recommended in internationally adopted children. International adoptees seen at the University of Minnesota International Adoption Clinic from 2006 to 2010 were assessed for acute HAV infection (positive HAV immunoglobulin M). Thirty of the 656 children screened (4.6%) were acutely HAV infected. HAV-infected children emigrated from Ethiopia (16), Guatemala (4), China (2), Colombia (2), Haiti (2), Philippines (2), Liberia (1), and Nepal (1). Infection was most frequent among children younger than 2 years (6.7%). No symptoms distinguished children with acute HAV infection from uninfected children. HAV infection caused significant social disruption, including separation of children from their ill adoptive parents during the initial weeks postarrival, a period important for postadoption adjustment and attachment. All international adoptees arriving from countries with high or intermediate HAV endemicity should be screened for HAV infection on arrival to the United States.
- hepatitis A