An outbreak record of Hepatitis A has killed 14 individuals and place scores in clinic in San Diego, hitting mostly homeless and patients using intravenous drugs.
The most recent information from San Diego County in California show that more than 350 cases have been diagnosed since the start of the year. The majority of those have taken been identified since July, and 264 individuals have needed care in hospital.
“As hepatitis A goes, the number of deaths is greater than in other large outbreaks reported to CDC, though not all outbreaks are reported to CDC,” a representative for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told AFP.
Another outbreak in 2003 connected to green onions in Pennsylvania made three deaths and sent 124 individuals to hospital.
Authorities have not yet recognized the reason for the most recent outbreak.
But they say it is being spread person to-person and through contact with a fecally contaminated environment.
This puts homeless people particularly in danger since they don’t have regular access to sanitary facilities and clean water to wash their hands, state health authorities noted.
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