16th Hepatitis A-related death reported in San Diego, 421 affect - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

16th Hepatitis A-related death reported in San Diego, 421 affected by the disease

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The death toll in an outbreak of hepatitis A in San Diego has reached 16, and 421 people have been sickened with the disease, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported Tuesday.

The figures are associated with an outbreak that began last November and has struck the homeless population and users of illicit drugs particularly hard.

Related Link: Councilwoman Zapf calls on city to take strong actions against Hepatitis A outbreak

Patients who contracted hepatitis A, which attacks the liver, in a manner unrelated to the outbreak aren't included in the statistics.

The new numbers were released the same day the city of San Diego began a pilot program to keep 14 public restrooms in Balboa Park open 24 hours a day. Under direction from county health, the city on Monday began washing down streets and sidewalks in the East Village with a bleach formula.

Also, around 40 hand-washing stations were set up around the city — concentrated in areas where the homeless congregate — around the beginning of the Labor Day weekend.

On Wednesday, a proposal to declare an emergency in San Diego over the outbreak and a lack of shelter space is scheduled to go before the City Council's Select Committee on Homelessness.

Related Link: City to begin washing down streets in effort to control Hepatitis A outbreak next week

Councilman David Alvarez suggested the declaration nearly two weeks ago, calling for immediate action because of the fatalities. In response, the office of Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the declaration was unnecessary, since the city was taking steps to combat the illness.

County officials, meanwhile, are continuing a program of vaccinations, which are considered to be the best way to prevent hepatitis A. The disease is spread by contact with microscopic amounts of infected feces and via sexual transmission.

More than 7,000 shots have been given to people considered to be at-risk of acquiring the disease, and over 19,000 shots given out in total, according to the HHSA.

Related Link: San Diego's plan to combat Hepatitis A outbreak

In January's annual tally of the area's transient population, 5,619 homeless individuals were counted in the city of San Diego, a 10.3 percent increase from last year. Of those, 3,231 were living on the streets.

  • KUSI.com Feedback Form

    Questions or suggestions about this story? Message KUSI News below:

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for your feedback.  We value your opinion!

MOST POPULAR SAN DIEGO NEWS

Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Sign up here for breaking news email alerts

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • SAN DIEGO WEATHER Supercast

Powered by Frankly

KUSI News

4575 Viewridge Ave. San Diego, CA 92123
Newsroom: 858-571-NEWS (6397)
Turko Files: 858-571-FILE (3453)
Business offices: 858-571-5151

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KUSI. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.