In response to the hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County, health officials have issued new vaccination recommendations for both food handlers and those who work in health care as the county continues in the effort to get the outbreak under control.
“This is a pro-active recommendation because the ongoing outbreak means that the risk to the general public is higher than normal,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., county public health officer.
“A person who becomes infected with hepatitis A may spread the disease to others before experiencing symptoms. In an occupation such as handling food, workers may expose more members of the public than workers in other occupations.”
The vaccine recommendation has also been expanded to those who work in health care in addition to prior recommendations for those who work in public safety, sanitation, homeless shelters and behavioral and homeless service providers.
The ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County has claimed 14 lives and hospitalized 264 people among the reported 352 cases.
Approximately 70 percent of the cases have been among people who are homeless, use illicit drugs or a combination of those two factors.
No common sources of food, beverage or drugs have been identified that have contributed to his outbreak, although the investigation continues.
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