State of emergency declared in California

Leslie Hanson
October 14, 2017

The emergency proclamation, which was issued by Brown on Friday, allows the state to increase its supply of hepatitis A vaccines in order to control the current outbreak.

"Today's proclamation gives the California Department of Public Health authority to immediately purchase vaccines directly from manufacturers and distribute them to impacted communities", the governor's office said in a statement.

"Vaccinating people at risk of exposure is the most effective tool we have to prevent the spread of hepatitis An infection during an outbreak", CDPH Director Karen Smith said.

Vaccines from a federal immunization program have been distributed to homeless people, drug users and other at-risk populations, but more vaccine is needed, according to the governor's proclamation.

CDPH said the vaccine for adults differs from the one for children, of which there is ample supply.

"While San Diego is experiencing the overwhelming majority of current hepatitis A cases, the entire state of California is at risk". The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health declared a local outbreak of hepatitis A in September.

In Santa Cruz County, at least 69 people have been diagnosed with hepatitis A amid a smaller outbreak that broke out in April, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. There have been 490 reported cases of the virus in the county. Most people who contract the infection recover completely.

The virus is also transmitted through contact with feces, so unsanitary conditions make it more likely to spread.

As noted at the L.A. Times, hepatitis A is typically spread through contaminated food, often with outbreaks centered around a single restaurant.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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