San Diego

Ages, Gender of Hepatitis A Victims Released by County Officials

The mean age of a Hepatitis A patient in San Diego County is 43 years old,

For the first time, San Diego County officials are releasing the ages and gender of the 19 people who have died in the Hepatitis A outbreak.

From November 22 through Oct. 19, there have been 516 confirmed cases have been reported in the county with 40 cases pending confirmation. Twenty new cases are reported per week on average, officials said. 

The first victim was a 58-year-old man who died on February 25. In April, two men in their 70s died. In May, a 47-year-old woman after contracting the virus, officials said. 

The youngest victim in the outbreak, identified as a 35-year-old man died on June 10. He and the four people who died before him all had underlying conditions.

In July, the number of people dying of Hepatitis A spiked to six – five men and one woman. The youngest was 47 years old. The oldest was 62.

A 43-year-old woman died in August along with four men in their mid-50s to early 60s.

In September, when county officials declared a health emergency in connection with the spike in cases of Hepatitis A, a 56-year-old man died days later. The following week, an 81-year-old man died. He would be the oldest victim to date.

Then in October, a 62-year-old man became the 19th death in the outbreak.

Of the victims, 10 were homeless. One used illicit drugs. Three were both homeless and illicit drug users.

However, two neither used drugs or were considered homeless, according to county health officials.

The mean age of a Hepatitis A patient in San Diego County is 43 years old, according to Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten, MD, MPH.

One 5-year-old contracted the virus. The child was not vaccinated and has recovered, Wooten said. 

She updated the San Diego County Board of Supervisors with new information on Tuesday.

As of October 24, 128 cases have no connection to homelessness or illicit drug use, Wooten said. 

"Half of these have no known exposure to our at-risk group," Wooten said.

She added the others may be linked to known cases or have some association as in sharing a bathroom, bedroom or kitchen with someone who contracted the virus.

Hepatitis A is spread person-to-person through contact with a fecal-contaminated environment, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services. 

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