Hepatitis A outbreak: State of emergency declared in California

ANI | Updated: Oct 14, 2017 07:20 IST

Los Angeles [USA] Oct. 14 (ANI): California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the wake of hepatitis A outbreak which has claimed at least 18 lives in the state till now.

This declaration will allow state health officials to buy additional doses of the hepatitis A vaccine in order to combat the outbreak.

"We have the capacity to use as much vaccine as we can get our hands on," Dr. Gil Chavez, state epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health said.

The hepatitis A outbreak began in San Diego's homeless community last year and has since spread outside the region.

581 people in California have been sickened, till now with the liver virus, out of which more than half of have ended up in the hospital.

Federal health officials last week said the California's outbreak could last years, even with so much of efforts being made.

"Vaccinating people at risk of exposure is the most effective tool we have to prevent the spread of hepatitis A," said California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Karen Smith.

Hepatitis A is commonly transmitted through contaminated food.

Hepatitis A is a little difficult to control because the disease can be spread through people before they have symptoms and even know that they have the virus. (ANI)

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