The latest on California’s hepatitis A pandemic

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health last week declared an outbreak of hepatitis A, citing 12 cases as of Monday.

Only four are cases in which people acquired the disease locally, but that’s enough for officials to sound the alarm. And few populations are more vulnerable to acquiring it — and suffering more severe cases of it — than the homeless community.

More than three-quarters of the cases identified here have been among homeless people.

This highly contagious liver disease is acquired when an uninfected person ingests food or water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person.

Commonly, it is transmitted after an infected person goes to the bathroom, doesn’t thoroughly wash his or her hands with soap and water and then prepares or touches another person’s food.

Source: If the hepatitis A outbreak doesn’t convince you to wash your hands after using the toilet, nothing will – LA Times


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