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County of San Diego Hepatitis A Outbreak

Post Date:10/03/2017 1:56 PM

The County of San Diego Health & Human Services Department reports that 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 majority of people who have contracted hepatitis A are homeless and/or illicit drug users, although some cases have been neither.  The outbreak is being spread person-to-person and through contact with a fecally contaminated environment. No common sources of food, beverage or drugs have been identified that have contributed to this outbreak, though investigation is ongoing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that person-to-person transmission through close contact is the primary way people get hepatitis A in the United States. 

What is Hepatitis A? 
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.

How Is It Transmitted?
Hepatitis A virus is usually transmitted by:

  • Touching objects or eating food that someone with Hepatitis A virus infection handled.
  • Having sex with someone who is infected.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Hepatitis A virus does not always cause symptoms. Some people get Hepatitis A virus and have no symptoms of the diseases. Adults are more likely to have symptoms than children.
  • Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing of the eyes (jaundice), stomach pain, vomiting, dark urine, pale stools, and diarrhea. 

For information and resources, please click on the San Diego County weblinks below or phone 2-1-1.

Precautionary measures are in place in the City of Vista to protect the public. Park restrooms receive a deep clean weekly and certain park playground equipment and benches are disinfected with Department of Environmental Health approved products.

In mid-September, Vista Sheriffs deputies from the COPPS Unit and San Diego County Health and Human Services held a homeless outreach “stand down” at Wildwood Park on the corner of E. Vista Way and Civic Center Drive. Homeless members of the community were offered access to services, such as social security benefits, social assistance programs, and Hepatitis A vaccinations. COPPS deputies visited homeless encampments for several days prior and on the day of the event to inform the homeless population of the event, and provided transportation to the park. The Homeless Outreach team gathered data about the 20 individuals who took advantage of the event.

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