San Diego Dealing With Hepatitis A Breakout

Health officials in San Diego have been trying to control Hepatitis A outbreak for several months. Despite their efforts, 19,000 people have contracted Hepatitis A. Sixteen people have died from this condition. Officials have stated that this is one of the largest hepatitis breakouts that this country has ever had.

Health officials have called this a public health emergency. They have stated that the outbreak can easily spread to Los Angeles because of the proximity. San Diego also has one of the largest homeless populations in the country, which is another reason that Hepatitis is spreading so fast.

Cristin Mondy is the health officer in Los Angeles. She stated that the Hepatitis A epidemic is likely getting worse. One of the things that officials are doing in order to prevent the outbreak is watching the streets with bleach. Dr. Wilma Wooten is the public health officer in San Diego.

Dr. Wooten stated that they are trying to figure out why Los Angeles has not experienced an outbreak yet. Hepatitis A is a condition that is spread through close contact with feces and contaminated food. It can also be spread through sexual contact. Hepatitis A can weaken the liver.

The outbreak was first identified in March 2017. However, the first case was reported in November 2016. The majority of people who have Hepatitis A in San Diego are either homeless or using illicit drugs. Dr. Wooten stated that they know that the number of people contracting Hepatitis A is going to increase.

Health officials have encouraged people to be vaccinated. In most cases, high-risk people and children are the only ones who are encouraged to get vaccinated. However, officials have encouraged all illicit drug users and homeless people to get vaccinated.

Health officials have also installed handwashing stations in many places with a high homeless population. Unsanitary conditions are often the culprit behind Hepatitis A outbreaks. Additionally, crews have been using bleach in order to clean the streets. Dr. Wooten stated that sanitation is definitely going to help control the outbreak.