With a large hepatitis A outbreak reported in parts of the state, affecting hundreds of people, Governor Jerry Brown Jr. issued an emergency proclamation that allows the state to increase its supply of hepatitis A vaccines in order to control the current outbreak.
Immunizations from the federal vaccine program have been distributed to at-risk populations in affected areas, but additional supplies are needed. The proclamation gives the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) authority to immediately purchase vaccines directly from manufacturers and distribute them to impacted communities.
California is currently experiencing the largest person-to-person hepatitis A virus outbreak in the United States since the hepatitis A vaccine became available 22 years ago.
In San Diego County, 490 hepatitis A cases have been reported with 70 percent of those infected requiring hospitalization for their illness since the beginning of the year. This includes 18 fatalities.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is actively responding to a local outbreak of hepatitis A that includes 13 confirmed cases. These cases have been associated with persons who are homeless and/or use illicit drugs (injection and non-injection).
Read the proclamation HERE
LISTEN: Talking Hepatitis A with Dr Amesh Adalja
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A virus is highly contagious. It can cause liver disease, lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting months. In some cases, people can die.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) routinely recommends hepatitis A vaccination for all children, for persons who are at increased risk for infection, and for any person wishing to obtain immunity.
Two shots of the hepatitis A virus vaccine are recommended. The vaccine may be given as a twin vaccine against both hepatitis A and B.
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