In an update on the hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County, CA, health officials reported an addition 53 cases in May, bringing the total to 133. Of the total, 80 percent required hospitalization for their illness and three died.

hepatitis AThe cases range in age from 21 to 82 years (median = 42 years), and 85 (64%) are male, with one (1%) self-identifying as a man who has sex with men. Eighty-four (63%) of the cases are homeless, and 85 (64%) reported injection or non-injection illicit drug use; some cases have both risk factors.

Since early 2017, the Public Health Services Division, in the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, has been investigating a local Hepatitis A outbreak. The outbreak investigation is ongoing.

Health officials say it has been challenging because of the long incubation period of the disease (15 to 50 days) and the difficulty experienced to contact many individuals sickened with the illness who are homeless and/or illicit drug users.

To date, no common source of food, beverage, or other cause has been identified; as a result, the source of the outbreak remains undetermined.

Vaccination efforts are being implemented in targeted locations by County staff and in collaboration with health care partners.

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