Number of New Hepatitis A Cases on the Decline: County - NBC 7 San Diego

Number of New Hepatitis A Cases on the Decline: County

Over the past 11 weeks, health officials have observed a downward trend in new cases.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Number of New Hepatitis A Cases on the Decline: County

    County health officials announced Tuesday the Hepatitis A outbreak shows signs of slowing.

    The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency has distributed more than 100,000 vaccinations as part of the effort to stop the disease from spreading.

    Of those vaccinations, 84,895 were given to people considered at-risk.

    On Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors once again extended the local health emergency for another two weeks. Every 14 days, the board must review the need to extend the emergency.

    Over the past 11 weeks, health officials have observed a downward trend in new cases. Since the previous report, there have only been two new cases.

    As of Nov. 8, there have been 546 cases of Hepatitis A in San Diego County, including 369 hospitalizations and 20 deaths. Despite the outbreak's decline, health officials warned the public to remain alert and recommended that at-risk groups continue to get vaccinated.

    Health officials said men who have sex with men should get the vaccine. That specific group has recently experienced an increase in cases in Michigan, New York City, and Colorado. Twelve out of 14 cases in Los Angeles County involve that at-risk group.

    The County and San Diego LGBT Community Center have planned a free Hepatitis A vaccination and flu shot clinic on Nov. 22 from 3 to 6 p.m. It will be located at 3909 Centre St. in San Diego.

    Other groups that should get vaccinated include illegal drug users, people with chronic liver disease, travelers to certain countries, people with clotting disorders, homeless people, people who work closely with the homeless and food handlers, according to the county.

    San Diego County Health and Human Services officials said Hepatitis A is usually spread through the fecal-oral route from person to person. They said symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal park, dark urine and light-colored stools.

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