City, county officials enact Hepatitis A vaccination campaign - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

City, county officials enact Hepatitis A vaccination campaign

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San Diego's mayor and other local leaders are urging at-risk San Diegans to get the Hepatitis A vaccine in a new campaign meant to stop the spread of the virus that has killed 16 people since March.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer, County Supervisor Ron Roberts and county health officials held a news conference for the launch of the "Vaccination, Sanitation & Education'' campaign, which asks the public to protect themselves from the disease through vaccinations and proper hand washing. 

People considered at-risk include the homeless population, drug users, food handlers, janitorial workers and people who regularly interact with at-risk individuals. For those people, health officials recommend vaccinations. The general population can also get vaccinated, but is likely to be protected through proper hand washing, officials said. 

Hepatitis A is commonly spread through facal-oral contact and can be transferred person-to-person or through consumption of contaminated food or water. Symptoms of Hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin in eyes, dark urine, pale stools and diarrhea. 

More than 22,000 people have received free vaccines through the county. Free clinics will be held at San Diego public libraries through December on the following dates:

•    Tuesday, Sept. 19 – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd.
•    Wednesday, Sept. 20 – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd.
•    Monday, Sept. 25 – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Logan Heights Branch Library, 567 S. 28th St.
•    Tuesday, Sept. 26 – Noon to 2 p.m. – Skyline Hills Library, 7900 Paradise Valley Rd.
•    Friday, Sept. 29 – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library, 5148 Market St.
•    Monday, Oct. 9 – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Logan Heights Branch Library, 567 S. 28th St.
•    Tuesday, Oct. 17 – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd.
•    Friday, Oct. 20 – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library, 5148 Market St.
•    Tuesday, Nov. 21 – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd.
•    Tuesday, Dec. 19 – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd.

The launch of the campaign comes just days after the County of San Diego warned patrons of Pacific Beach restaurant World Famous they may have been exposed to the virus on certain dates in late August and early September. 

 More than 400 cases of Hepatitis A has been reported in San Diego County since the outbreak was discovered in March, according to the County Department of Public Health. More than 60 percent of reported cases were among San Diego’s homeless population.

In an effort to combat San Diego's homeless crisis, Mayor Falconer announced last week a plan to erect three large tent shelters in San Diego.

The temporary housing facilities will house about 100 to 250 people and will be located on 14th and Commercial streets, 16th Street and Newton Ave. and on Sports Arena Blvd.  The first is expected to be installed by December, Mayor Faulconer said.

Related Link: Community voices frustration with lack of affordable housing at meeting 

The idea for shelters was proposed by Padres managing partner Peter Seidler and restaurateur Dan Shea, who have together committed $1.5 million to the project. 

The city of San Diego in partnership with Father Joe’s villages, the Alpha Project and Veterans Village of San Diego, will operate the shelters, which will have showers, restrooms and hand-washing stations.

The tents will be temporary as the city refocuses its energy to finding long-term affordable housing solutions.

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