KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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How San Diego’s Hepatitis A Outbreak May Have Had Its Roots In A Baseball Game

Stat takes a look at how San Diego's outbreak has been brewing for a while.

Stat: Hepatitis A In San Diego: An Outbreak Waiting To Happen
The hepatitis A outbreak now roiling this well-heeled, coastal city may have had its roots in a baseball game — when the city cleaned up for the 2016 All-Star Game by pushing its homeless out of the touristy areas downtown and into increasingly congested encampments and narrow freeway onramps just east of downtown. The lines of tents stretched for blocks. At the same time, the city was locking and removing bathrooms to help control the rampant drug and prostitution trade they’d spawned. Hepatitis A is transmitted through contact with feces from an infected person, and in close, unsanitary conditions, the highly contagious virus can spread explosively. So it was only a matter of time, experts say, before cases would surge among the homeless. (McFarling, 10/6)

Los Angeles Times: California's Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak Could Last Years, Official Says
California’s outbreak of hepatitis A, already the nation’s second largest in the last 20 years, could continue for many months, even years, health officials said Thursday. At least 569 people have been infected and 17 have died of the virus since November in San Diego, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles counties, where local outbreaks have been declared. 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. (Karlamangla, 10/5)

Sacramento Bee: Sacramento County Scrambles To Prevent Hep A Outbreak
As health officials work to control a hepatitis outbreak in Southern California, Sacramento County and City officials are trying to get ahead of the crisis. ... After declaring an outbreak in San Diego County in April, health officials started distributing the vaccine to the homeless since they are the most at-risk because of poor hygiene and sanitary conditions. (Sullivan and Lillis, 10/5)

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