In a follow-up to the dramatic increase of hepatitis A cases in San Diego County, county health officials reported the number of cases has risen to 80, as of May 1, including a third fatality.
Sixty-six people have been hospitalized during the outbreak. Public health investigators are still evaluating cases; no common food, drink or drug source has been identified.
The County has been conducting vaccination clinics in the community and working with partners, such as local homeless outreach and faith-based community organizations, in an effort to reach those most at risk.
“We are partnering with the community to ensure the people most at risk – particularly the homeless – have access to the hepatitis A vaccine,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We’ve increased our outreach to vulnerable populations and have worked with organizations to host vaccination clinics and make information available.
“We are strongly encouraging people who are at risk to check with their health care providers and get vaccinated for hepatitis A.”
Non-health care individuals who work closely with homeless people and illicit drugs users on a frequent and ongoing basis, such as those who work or volunteer at homeless services agencies, are recommended to get the hepatitis A vaccine, if they are not already vaccinated.
Seven cases have been reported in local detention facilities where they may have exposed others. If you were an inmate in the following facilities during the following dates, and exposed within the past two weeks, it is recommended you get the hepatitis A vaccine. If you were exposed within the past three to seven weeks, you should watch for symptoms and see your health care provider if any symptoms develop. Exposures occurred at the following facilities:
– George Bailey Detention Facility
- from March 22 to April 4 in area 2A or medical cell 103
- from April 7 to April 19 in Area 3C
- from April 11 to April 24 in Area 1A
- from April 6 to April 18 in Areas 4A, 6A, 2A
- from April 14 to April 21 in Area 1A
– San Diego Central Jail from March 22 to April 1 in Area 5A
– Vista Detention Facility from April 9 to April 17 in Areas E3, E6 or medical cell 4
The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is by getting vaccinated.
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