San Diego

Closer Look: San Diego's Hepatitis A Outbreak and Tourism Concerns

The health news is slowly and surely making its way to the ears of tourists

As the Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego gains national notoriety, the health issue is becoming a growing concern for the city’s tourism industry.

The group that promotes San Diego to tourists will begin informing them of the health risk.

NBC 7 spoke with a few tourists Thursday – some who had not heard about the outbreak and others who had only recently learned of the issue.

"I’ve heard nothing about it," said Maximiliam Schweimberger, who is visiting San Diego from Australia. "First time hearing it, actually."

Many travelers said there were no signs at the airport or warnings of the outbreak on travel booking websites. Some were informed of the outbreak by loved ones or via word of mouth.

"I had no idea; probably wouldn’t be here if I knew that, [being] seven months pregnant," said Alejandra Amaya, of San Antonio, Texas. "That’s scary."

San Diego’s Tourism Authority said the group is committed to providing travelers with current, accurate information about visiting San Diego. Soon they will be posting about the Hepatitis A outbreak on their website.

The San Diego Tourism Authority sent NBC 7 the following statement:

"The health and safety of visitors to San Diego is the highest priority for the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA), our partners and the local tourism industry. As such, the San Diego Tourism Authority is committed to providing travelers with current, accurate information about traveling to the region safely."

Their statement continued to explain how they will make tourists feel safe about visiting San Diego:

"We will work to assure concerned potential visitors that it is safe to travel to San Diego. For visitors with specific questions about Hepatitis A, we will refer them to the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency for complete resources."

The Account Manager at Taylor and Pond, Katelyn Winker, told NBC 7 the city should work harder to keep the public informed.

"I think the city definitely should be posting and being super active about it because it’s showing that they’re taking more proactive steps and not just waiting to respond," said Winker.

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