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County of San Diego Hepatitis A Outbreak

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

On Sept. 1, 2017, the San Diego County Public Health Office declared a local public health emergency due to the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in the county. The outbreak is being spread person-to-person and through contact with fecally contaminated environments. The majority of people who have contracted hepatitis A during this outbreak have been homeless and/or illicit drug users. Efforts of the County and its community partners to halt the hepatitis A outbreak focus on three key areas: vaccination, sanitation and education

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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