Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter (including microscopic amounts) after contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person.
San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles counties have declared hepatitis A outbreaks. Last month, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency to increase the supply of hepatitis A vaccines to control the current outbreak. Most cases have occurred in persons who are homeless and/or use illicit drugs (injection and non-injection), with many cases also occurring among people who provide services to the homeless. Public health departments, such as Los Angeles County’s, are offering free vaccine clinics for people who may be at risk for hepatitis A. For more information on this outbreak and steps to prevent the virus’ spread, visit the California Department of Public Health’s website and the Department of Industrial Relations website.
Members can share on the Authority’s LinkedIn discussion group page their thoughts and strategies for dealing with the hepatitis A outbreak.