SAN DIEGO (CNS) - One more death and additional new cases were reported Tuesday as a result of the hepatitis A outbreak in the San Diego County region, prompting the Board of Supervisors to keep a public health emergency declaration in place.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, said the death toll has climbed to 17, with 17 additional cases and 10 more hospitalizations this week.
RELATED: City leaders kick off Hepatitis A prevention campaign
A total of 461 cases have been confirmed in the region, in what has been described as the largest outbreak of the virus in decades. The outbreak began last November, but was not identified until March. The youngest person to be infected was a 5-year-old who had not been previously vaccinated, Wooten said.
The health crisis has primarily hit the homeless population, accounting for 232 cases. About 154 of those were illicit drug users, she said.
Health officials say the most effective way to fight the contagious liver disease is by vaccinating at-risk populations, which include first responders, food handlers, health care professionals, service workers who interact with the homeless, workers in substance abuse programs and public transit employees.
In the past several months, county officials have made vaccines available free to the public, including those in homeless encampments and other hepatitis A hot spots. Officials said more than 40,000 people have been vaccinated so far. To continue the momentum in battling the virus, the city of San Diego has partnered with the county to provide free vaccinations at public libraries through December.
RELATED: Hepatitis A case reported at popular Pacific Beach restaurant
Other sanitation measures have included the installment of 41 hand- washing stations and a new 24-hour restroom facility in the downtown area, where homeless people tend to congregate. Currently, there are 22 public restrooms downtown.
The operating hours of 14 restrooms in Balboa Park have also been expanded to 24 hours a day, and city streets are being power-washed and bleached on a regular basis.
A San Diego gym, Fitness is My Sickness (FIMS), is offering classes that are specifically geared toward the deaf and hard of hearing community.
On Thursday, members of Your Voice Has Power – a group that opposes the release of sexually violent predators in east San Diego County - hosted a community event in opposition to the potential release of Alan Earl James.
Widespread Spring showers moved in across San Diego earlier today, but we will see drier conditions tonight as the wet weather moves east. But, our skies will offer up a different spectacle as the cloud cover goes from mostly to partly cloudy revealing the last Supermoon of 2019.
On Thursday, fans were able to meet and greet with Mexican football legend Luis “El Matador” Hernandez at the Wells Fargo Museum in Old Town ahead of Friday’s Mexico vs Chile game.
Power outages across northern and central San Diego County left more than 7,000 homes and businesses temporarily without power Thursday.
While many locals have ventured north to find fields of poppies, plenty of springtime beauty is popping up all over San Diego County.
A crime scene DNA match has, at long last, allowed homicide detectives to determine who stabbed a La Jolla mother of two to death at her home four decades ago, San Diego police announced Thursday.
The 2019 super bloom in Walker Canyon, which is attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the City of Lake Elsinore, is causing significant traffic congestion on Interstate 15 and surrounding roadways.
A San Diego man who used Airbnb to rent out his home claims someone using a fake profile rented his home, trashed it and stole several items – including an expensive watch.