San Diego: Hepatitis A Outbreak: At Least 421 Sickened And 16 Dead So Far

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE EPOCH TIMES)

(Epoch Times is based in New York City and mainly focuses on China news)

 

At least 421 people have been sickened and 16 have been killed during an outbreak of Hepatitis A in San Diego as of Sept. 12, 2017.

Some 292 people of the 421 were hospitalized due to the illness, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency’s latest figures, released Tuesday.

“This is an outbreak of unprecedented proportion, and we have not seen an outbreak of this nature as relates to hepatitis A before,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County’s public health director, CNN reported.

Most of the infections—65 percent—are occurring among homeless people, those who use illegal drugs, or both. Another 23 percent of cases occurred in people who associate with homeless people, Wooten explained to the news network.

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“Basically, if an individual is infected with hepatitis A and they use the bathroom and don’t wash their hands, and then they can spread or contaminate the environment: door handles, ATMs or whatever they touch,” Wooten said.

Symptoms of the illness—which can be “mild to severe”—can include “fever, malaise, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark-colored urine, and jaundice,” according to the World Health Organization.

Wooten was forced to declare a state of emergency in the county on Sept. 1.

“The local emergency was declared to increase and heighten awareness of the seriousness of the outbreak,” she said.

As NPR reported, San Diego officials started washing down sidewalks down with bleach to kill off the bug. The areas sprayed down with bleach are frequented by homeless people.

Mike Saag, a professor of medicine at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, told the broadcaster that San Diego’s bleaching approach is a reasonable one.

Geographic distribution of Hepatitis A prevalence — Red: High : prevalence higher than 8%; orange: Intermediate : between 2% and 7%; grey: Low : less than 2% (Wikipedia)

“If there’s a sanitation problem, then the thing to do is clean up the area, and bleach is probably the best disinfectant that we have for this type of viral infection,” he said.

Wooten, meanwhile, added that more than 21,000 people have been vaccinated.

According to the World Health Organization, the risks are higher where there is:

  • poor sanitation;
  • lack of safe water;
  • use of recreational drugs;
  • living in a household with an infected person;
  • being a sexual partner of someone with acute hepatitis A infection; and
  • travelling to areas of high endemicity without being immunized.

According to San Diego officials, here is how it’s transmitted:

  • Touching objects or eating food that someone with HAV infection handled.
  • Having sex with someone who has a HAV infection.

San Diego police shoot, kill 15-year-old who pointed BB gun at officer By Nicole Chavez, CNN

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

San Diego police shoot, kill 15-year-old who pointed BB gun at officer

San Diego Police Department officers collect evidence at the scene of a fatal officer-involved shooting of a 15-year-old boy.

Story highlights

  • The teen called 911 on himself, police say
  • Both officers were wearing body cameras

(CNN) Police fatally shot a 15-year-old boy after he pointed a BB gun at an officer in the parking lot of a San Diego high school, authorities said .

The incident started when a 911 call came in early Saturday, asking officers to check on the welfare of an unarmed boy standing in front of Torrey Pines High School.
While the caller did not provide a name, preliminary information later determined the boy made the call and was referring to himself, San Diego Police said in a statement.
When two officers arrived at the scene, they saw the teen.
“As the officers got out of their patrol cars to contact the male, the male pulled a handgun that was concealed in his waistband and pointed it at one of the officers,” police said.
“Both officers drew their weapons while repeatedly giving the male commands to drop his handgun. The subject refused to comply. Fearing for their safety, both officers fired their weapons.”
The boy was struck several times and officers performed first aid and summoned paramedics, but he was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Investigators found out after the shooting that he was carrying a semiautomatic BB air pistol, police said.

‘A difficult time’

Both officers were wearing body cameras but it’s unclear whether the footage would be released, CNN affiliate KGTV reported.
The teen was only identified as a Torrey Pines High School student who lives near the school. Authorities declined to release his name because of his age.
“Our hearts go out to the student, his family, and his friends,” Eric Dill, superintendent of the San Dieguito Union High School District, said in a message to students. “This is a difficult time for the family and we need to let them mourn.”
San Diego Police said the two officers involved are a 28-year veteran and a four-year veteran of the department.