San Diego

Death Toll Rises to 20 in San Diego's Hepatitis A Outbreak

Cases in Colorado and Arizona have also been linked to the San Diego County Outbreak

Twenty people in San Diego County have died as a result of the Hepatitis A outbreak, officials said Tuesday.

A 67-year-old man passed away from the virus on Oct. 26, public health officials said. 

From November 22 through Oct. 31, there have been 536 confirmed cases have been reported in the county, up from 516 earlier this month. Several dozen cases more are still pending confirmation.

Cases in Colorado and Arizona have also been linked to the outbreak. Health officials in Colorado say two cases of Hepatitis in that state stem from the outbreak in San Diego. 

The Colorado Disease Control & Environmental Epidemiology Division linked two of that state’s 58 reported cases of Hepatitis A were linked to San Diego. 

Twenty new cases are reported per week on average, officials said. 

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.

Of the people who have died in the outbreak, 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.

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

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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