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California’s Hepatitis A outbreak could last for years

California’s Hepatitis A outbreak could last for years

“It’s not unusual for them to last quite some time.”

The last time we checked on California’s outbreak of Hepatitis A, a liver-impacting disease transmitted through fecal matter, a 17th person in San Diego had succumbed to the disease.

Public health officials warn that the outbreak could last for months, and possibly years.

Dr. Monique Foster, a medical epidemiologist with the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters Thursday that California’s outbreak could linger even with the right prevention efforts.

“It’s not unusual for them to last quite some time — usually over a year, one to two years,” Foster said.

That forecast has worried health officials across the state, even in regions where there haven’t yet been cases.

The challenge in this particular outbreak is that most of the infected are homeless, for whom personal hygiene is not typically a significant concern.

Hepatitis A spreads when someone comes in contact with an infected person’s feces — sometimes when hands are not properly washed after going to the bathroom or by changing diapers. The virus can then spread through food, objects, sex or sharing drug paraphernalia.

The city of San Diego has responded to the emergency by power-washing streets and installing hand-washing stations. The city says it will open an encampment for the homeless equipped with tents, showers, restrooms, food security and social services.

Santa Cruz County has distributed nearly 1,400 doses of vaccine, However, more cases are likely because it can take up to 50 days for infected people to show symptoms, said Jessica Randolph, the county’s public health manager.

Furthermore, the disease may spread to other locations as police officer break down encampments and the homeless move to new spots. One of San Diego’s boutique areas is now being affected by a surge.

In recent weeks, Hillcrest has seen a rise in the homeless population since police started breaking up Downtown homeless encampments.

News 8’s Elizabeth Sanchez reports from Hillcrest with more on the unrest this has caused in the community.

In late September, San Diego Police cleared out two homeless encampments in the East Village.

They said the effort to move the homeless out of the Downtown areas was to allow the City to spray down the sidewalks to curb the deadly Hepatitis A outbreak – which has claimed 17 lives in San Diego.

Once the weather gets warmer, the Hepatitis A could travel with the homeless to non-California destinations.


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It will never stop. CA revels in its third world charm, reintroduced daily by ever more primitive savages from Central America and Southern Mexico.

    Milhouse in reply to puhiawa. | October 8, 2017 at 3:05 am

    BS. Homeless people are very rarely recent immigrants, legal or otherwise. People who risk their lives to get here are motivated and sane, and thus not the problem here.

      Observer in reply to Milhouse. | October 8, 2017 at 7:53 am

      LOL. Southern AZ prisons routinely have outbreaks of TB from infected illegal alien prisoners. How “motivated and sane” do you imagine they are?

        Milhouse in reply to Observer. | October 8, 2017 at 9:38 am

        One needn’t be crazy or lazy to get arrested. One need only commit a crime. It stands to reason that those willing to brave the dangers of crossing the border illegally are more likely than average to be willing to break the law once here. But this Hep A outbreak is not happening in prisons, it’s happening in homeless encampments, and those are populated by precisely the sort of people who would never have what it takes to cross the border illegally. Mexican crazy people stay there; coming here pretty much proves someone is sane, motivated, and competent, and therefore unlikely to be sleeping in the streets.

legacyrepublican | October 7, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Don’t you mean San Diego county. Santa Cruz county is just south of San Francisco.

Illegal aliens?

Unquarantined refugees (a.k.a. CAIR) of Obama’s social justice adventures and survivors of the modern trail of tears?

The linked article shows some really upscale homelessness in their $300 L.L. Bean tents. Nice!

Now you say you’re lonely
You cry the long night through
Well, you can cry me a liver
Cry me a liver
I cried a liver over you
Now you say you’re sorry
For being so untrue …

Actually, this one should be an easy fix. A disease carried by an essentially uncontrollable vector, such as mosquitos or fleas, can be very hard to control. But this is spread by third-world people with third-world notions of personal sanitation. And California could fix the problem in a week. But it won’t.

Which means that Hep A is in California to stay.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | October 8, 2017 at 9:41 am

    No, it isn’t. It’s spread by first-world people who once upon a time were taught first-world notions of sanitation, but (a) have no access to the necessary facilities, and (b) aren’t reality-focused enough to always remember to use them even if they had them.

It’s going to spread from the homeless to the marginally-homed, some of whom probably work (under-the-table or legit) in the back kitchens of area restaurants. Since it takes a while between infection and symptoms, it’ll start working its way into the middle class and maybe even the bright shiny people who are better than us class.

And then there’s the happy news that California is intent on destigmatizing HIV/AIDS to the extent that it’s now okay if you knowingly give it to a sex partner or lie to a blood bank about your HIV status. So that’s nice. Isn’t that nice?

When can we build a wall? Not on our Southern border, but to contain the Californian menace.

    Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | October 8, 2017 at 9:42 am

    It’s going to spread from the homeless to the marginally-homed,

    I doubt it. Sane people don’t hang out with crazy people, and sane people with access to sanitary facilities use them.

It may sound cruel, but vagrancy used to be a crime. Corral the homeless into places with proper sanitation. They may not like it – no drugs or alcohol – but it as become a public health issue. Quarantine them.

    Milhouse in reply to Elric. | October 8, 2017 at 2:59 am

    Vagrancy laws were always blatantly unconstitutional. Eventually the courts noticed, and put an end to them. Why don’t we lock you up? What makes your liberty more important than theirs?

between the illegals and the vagrants, #Failifornia has two large, mobile, and completely untrackable reservoirs of potential carriers, one of whom routinely harvests crops, packs meat, handles food prep for large portions of the population in restaurants, and is even welcomed into some homes, to do the same, “clean” and care for the young & the elderly, both of whom are especially vulnerable.

neither population is likely to be compliant with the needed 2nd vaccination, and, of course, the vaccination is pretty much useless if you’re already infected.

so yeah, this epidemic isn’t likely to go away any time soon, especially since the Venn diagram of “people who hire illegals in their home” and “people who are anti-vax” has a rather large intersection.

serves them right, but i resent being put at risk they their stupidity.

    I had just noticed the “get vaccinated” tattoo in the featured graphic and was going to say something about the large concentration of anti-vaxxers in CA… but you beat me to it!
    Your whole comment is spot on, I’m afraid. :-/

I love these faux “epidemics” and “outbreaks”. There are 17 confirmed cases of hepatitis A among a homeless population of hundreds of thousands and a total stat population of millions and were are supposed to run around with our hands in the air worrying about the end of the human race? PLEASE.

30000 symptomatic cases were reported in the US in 1997 and approximately 2000 cases are reported every year. Wash your hands and you should be fine.

    The incidence of Hepatitis A had been falling pretty dramatically in the US from 1998 onward, as this CDC graph shows:

    There were around 1,200 reported new cases in 2014, the most recent year the CDC shows figures for, and 76 deaths from where it was an underlying or contributing cause of death. Those 17 cases in San Diego you’re scoffing are not confirmed cases, but confirmed deaths. In just one city.

    This is the 21st century. Until quite recently, rates of preventable diseases like this had been plummeting. If we start going backwards again, that’s a pretty big deal. To some of us, at least.

      Mac45 in reply to Amy in FL. | October 7, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      These deaths are all within a specific demographic, homeless people. They are not appearing outside that population in any significant numbers. Now, that particular population has several negative factors where Hep A is concerned. First of all, they usually live in conditions of significantly lower sanitation standards than the rest of the community. This provides a much better incubation ground than the rest of society enjoys. Then you have their general health and healthcare. Most of this population has significant levels of liver damage from the abuse of alcohol and other drugs. This puts those people at far greater risk of death from Hep A, than the healthier portions of the general society. Finally, you have access to healthcare. While there is no disease specific treatment for Hep A, recovery usually requires several days or weeks of reduced activity, and good nutrition and hydration. None of which the homeless can afford.

      There are two ways to stop the Hep A outbreak within the homeless community. The first is to place the homeless in hygienic living conditions which are on a par with those of the rest of the community. This is unlikely to happen due to the extremely high level of mental illness and chemical dependency which permeates that population. This is most of what causes hardcore homelessness to begin with. The second way is to remove the target population. Get rid of the homeless population. Vaccinating the homeless may help keep many of them from contracting the disease. But, as we pretty much know that the incubation of the disease is being caused by the unhygienic living conditions in which it breeds, this will not stop the problem.

      As I said, stay away from the homeless and wash your hands. You should be alright.

Starting with AIDS in the 80’s… diseases became political. Prevention and containment set aside as inconvenient. Suffering and death quarantined to hospital rooms and hospices. “Protected minorities” were politically protected at the expense of medical protection. Hep A is now an inconvenient fact .. which is a by-product of plastic bag (pseudo) bans…. if only the homeless would buy their bags as all others are required to do at the store!

To add to this mess, now California has decriminalized the knowing transmission of HIV and will allow blood donations from HIV positive individuals. That “compassionate” stance could put California into a bad way, on par with African nations where HIV/AIDS has decimated generations. Time for a wall with California on the AZ-NV-OR border?