Since early 2017, the Public Health Services Division, in the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, has been investigating a local Hepatitis A outbreak. The majority of people who have contracted hepatitis A are homeless and/or illicit drug users, although some cases have been neither.  The outbreak is being spread person-to-person and through contact with a fecally contaminated environment.  No common sources of food, beverage or drugs have been identified that have contributed to this outbreak, though investigation is ongoing.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that person-to-person transmission through close contact is the primary way people get hepatitis A in the United States.

Vaccination efforts are being implemented in targeted locations by County staff and in collaboration with health care partners. Health providers are asked to inform the Epidemiology Program if they have a patient suspected to have the hepatitis A infection, before the patient leaves the emergency department or provider’s office (see contact number below).

On September 1, 2017, the San Diego County Public Health Officer declared a local public health emergency due to the ongoing hepatitis A virus outbreak in the county. The County Board of Supervisors ratified this declaration on September 6, 2017 and again on September 12, 2017. The declaration shall be ratified every two weeks by the County Board of Supervisors until the declaration is rescinded.

For information and resources, please click on the links below:

The table below will provide a weekly update of total cases, deaths, and hospitalizations.  Following this update is information about hepatitis A to educate the community and help prevent the continual spread of this viral infection.

San Diego County Hepatitis A Outbreak Cases and Deaths as of October 3, 2017*

Cases Deaths Hospitalizations
481 17 (3.7%) 337 (70%)