San Diego's Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak Turns "Statewide Epidemic" As "Outbreak Could Last Years"

A few weeks ago we highlighted the staggering outbreak of Hepatitis A in San Diego that had infected 400 people and killed more than a dozen.  The outbreak was first identified in early Marchaccording to the county, and declared a public health emergency in September.

But, as the LA Times points out, the hepatitis A outbreak that started in San Diego is now on the verge of reaching statewide epidemic status, as cases have spread through homeless tent cities all the way north to Sacramento.

California’s outbreak of hepatitis A, already the nation’s second largest in the last 20 years, could continue for many months, even years, health officials said Thursday.


At least 569 people have been infected and 17 have died of the virus since November in San Diego, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles counties, where local outbreaks have been declared.


Dr. Monique Foster, a medical epidemiologist with the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters Thursday that California’s outbreak could linger even with the right prevention efforts.


“It’s not unusual for them to last quite some time — usually over a year, one to two years,” Foster said.

Hepatitis A is commonly transmitted through contaminated food. The only outbreak in the last 20 years bigger than California’s occurred in Pennsylvania in 2003, when more than 900 people were infected after eating contaminated green onions at a restaurant.

California’s outbreak, however, is spreading from person to person, mostly among the homeless community.

The virus is transmitted from feces to mouth, so unsanitary conditions make it more likely to spread. The city of San Diego has installed dozens of handwashing stations and begun cleaning streets with bleach-spiked water in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, the outbreak has made its way to Santa Cruz and L.A. counties, where 70 and 12 people have already been diagnosed, respectively, as public health officials warn that the worst is likely far from over.

San Diego County declared a public health emergency in September because of its hepatitis A outbreak.


Since November, 481 people there have fallen ill, including 17 who died, according to Dr. Eric McDonald with the county’s health department. An additional 57 cases are under investigation, he said.


Officials from both counties say they’ve vaccinated thousands of homeless people and will continue to do so.


New cases linked to the outbreak might not appear for weeks, because it can take up to 50 days for an infected person to show symptoms, said Santa Cruz public health manager Jessica Randolph.


“I don’t think the worst is over,” Randolph said.

Hep A

Of course, as we pointed out earlier this year (see: Shocking Video Footage Of Sprawling California Tent City), sprawling tent cities have been popping up all over California for years and are called home by 1,000s of residents in even the most posh cities from Newport to Santa Cruz.  All of which has prompted a wave of vaccinations and a "review of sanitation protocols for homeless encampments"...which we're sure will be followed very rigorously by residents.

In Orange County, which has had two hepatitis A cases linked to the outbreak, public health workers have given out 492 vaccines, mostly to homeless people, officials said. County nurses have also been visiting shelters and parks to vaccinate people.


Some officials, including in Riverside and Sacramento counties, also said they were reviewing their sanitation protocols for homeless encampments. An L.A. councilman recently called for more toilets in neighborhoods such as skid row and Venice in light of the local hepatitis cases.


In Oakland, city workers, represented by SEIU Local 1021, sent a letter to City Hall last month saying they feared a hepatitis A outbreak in the region’s homeless community. So far, there haven’t been any cases in Oakland or the rest of Alameda County, but city safety steward Brian Clay said he believed the city has allowed unsanitary conditions in homeless encampments.


“There’s syringes, there’s human feces, there are dead animals, rats alive, and dead rats … pee bottles, five-gallon buckets used as toilets,” Clay said. “We’re definitely concerned about this added threat of hepatitis A.”

As Breitbart points out, California's tent cities are the direct result of "proactive" legislation that forbids police from dispersing homeless people living in tent cities between the hours of 9pm and 5:30am.

California homeless advocates have been successful across the state in forcing cities to accept the homeless living in large tent communities on public property. The advocates refer to anti-homeless ordinances as the modern-day equivalent to post-slavery Jim Crow and Depression era anti-Okie laws that allowed police to disperse people deemed “undesirable” after dark.


The City of San Diego was forced to sign the Spencer Settlement in 2006, which forbids its Police Department from enforcing the city’s “Illegal Lodging Enforcement Guidelines” between the hours of 9 pm to 5:30 am.


California, with 115,738 homeless, now accounts for about 21 percent of America’s total homeless population. Due to legal settlements against vagrancy laws, about 72.3 percent of California’s homeless are unsheltered, usually living in tent cities.

If you like your socialist utopia, you can keep your socialist utopia.


Manthong vato poco Thu, 10/12/2017 - 01:33 Permalink

  I read somewhere that the vagrants used to take their dumps in discarded plastic shopping bags, but since Kalifornexico banned plastic bags, they just dump in the street or wherever convenient. That wonderful weather, proximity to the ocean, mountains and desert does not outweigh the burden of the diseased bums on the street, in the parks and in the Sacramento state house. 

In reply to by vato poco

Implied Violins Miffed Microbi… Thu, 10/12/2017 - 01:18 Permalink

I think this is just another ruse to eventually force mandatory vaccinations onto people.

Time for a RANT!!!

Most Americans have bought into vaccinations as a 'necessary evil', even to the point of being open to FORCED vaccinations in the event of a pandemic due to an erroneous belief in 'herd immunity' which supposedly magically protects everyone. I believe that this is THE primary means by which governments will introduce a soft martial law, because the public will believe it is necessary 'for the common good'. And this can be instituted with impunity via police roadside checkpoints, forced entry into homes, mandatory evacuation into FEMA camps etc. with little pushback.

For the record, I have a Master's degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics (UT Houston, 2000). I got my degree while studying Anthrax, and I was paid on a CIA grant. While there I learned many, many disturbing things about our government 'bioterror' program, including the farce that was Kenema National Labs in Sierra Leone, Africa. Suffice it to say, that if there IS any disease outbreak, it will definitely be some bug that was developed in that lab (or a similar one) that will be featured.

It isn't by accident that Legionnaire's Disease; Ebola; Marburg; AIDS and other such diseases have grabbed headlines since 1975 - when the lab started to really get going.

'Oh, it's just the locals eating bush meat', they'd say when there was an outbreak. 'Lets make a vaccine to protect them!' Well, it was the vaccines that CAUSED those problems to begin with.

Several things to think about concerning that lab: why is that facility in Africa, and not in the USA? Most would say, 'well, DUH, that's where the diseases are!' And there is truth to that, but the real reasons are that - 1. the government there is bought and paid for, with no oversight on the lab; 2. the people there are not well educated, which leads to 3. they have been even more brainwashed into the need for vaccinations, leading to a perfect source of willing guinea pigs.

Also, there is little media presence there, so when 'breakouts' DO happen, they can be attributed to 'those careless bush people' instead of there being any real investigations which would show that those exhibiting symptoms almost ALWAYS were vaccinated with the VERY SAME THING THEY CAME DOWN WITH.

And one more thing about Kenema National Labs: back during the Ebola scare, there was a man from the World Health Organization who investigated that lab by the name of Glenn Thomas. He apparently had discovered some unsettling things and was going to report them, but unfortunately he just 'happened' (along with many prominent microbiolgists) to be on flight MH17 when it went down. Conveniently, it turned out. And not long after that, that lab was quietly shuttered.

So anyway, that's my long-winded take on why this is not merely fear-mongering; it is PART OF THE PLAN. And it would be best to be both aware of it and prepared for it when it happens.

(BTW, for anyone wondering what to do when/if a pandemic occurs and how to treat yourself, look into making liposomal Vitamin C and colloidal silver. Both - when properly made - can do wonders.)

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

Ms No Miffed Microbi… Thu, 10/12/2017 - 02:33 Permalink

I still wonder what they have produced after nearly a hundred years of research in "bio-defense".  I don't think we want to know.  I had sick rat on my porch this year.  It was really disturbing.  It couldn't walk or lift it's head and it was scrapings it's eye on the sidewalk leaving an eye trail and I think it had fluid coming from it's bum.  I grabbed my on site landlord, because I figured it's his job to put it out of it's misery.  He threw it alive in the dumpster.  What a jerk.  I put bleach and water on the sidewalk.  A couple of weeks later there were articles about plague in some fleas and rodents in Northern Arizona.  It was really creepy.  It could have been something else I guess.

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

Parrotile Miffed Microbi… Thu, 10/12/2017 - 03:52 Permalink

I'm not so sure, M'am.  You will be aware of the recent articles relating to "pan-resistant" N. gonorrhoeae, and the "new" pathogen Candida auris. Far easier to produce multi-drug resistant bacteria than viruses (and as we know from "Typhoid Mary", humans can be excellent vectors). There was enough hoo ha in the 1980's about "Russian" pan-resistant Y. pestis (which actually WAS pan-resistant) - no mention that we in the West were doing the exact same thing - "Biological Defence" being the loop-hole used to get around the Ban on Biological and Chemical weapons - which was more to do with stockpiling for offensive purposes than research. Before Molecular Biology happened, my employers were using mutagens to induce durable resistance to very supra-clinical concentrations of "everything available" via such "old" techniques as acridine orange enhanced UV DNA scission, use of Mustine, and a number of other chemical mutagens, with "good effect".Not saying that a virus might not be a great choice with today's technology, but I am saying that, even without todays "toys", I'd be very able to build something (bacterial or fungal) out of your worst nightmare. Like riding a bicycle, this knowledge (and technical ability) is just sitting there - hopefully NOT needed! 

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

Miffed Microbi… Parrotile Thu, 10/12/2017 - 11:39 Permalink

I was thinking a good old antigenic shifted wild type version actually but point well taken.

We are on high alert for MDR GC and auris. We have not isolated one yet but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. I am validating a MALDI TOF because we are technically not ready for the coming microbial plagues. Of course be able to identify a nuclear bomb is approaching vs dealing with its effects is hardly comforting.


In reply to by Parrotile

Parrotile Miffed Microbi… Thu, 10/12/2017 - 16:50 Permalink

MALDI-TOF is one of those examples where significant desktop computing power has made a real difference - real-time "on the fly" mass spec. would have been a pipedream when I started (late 1970's), when time-of-flight MS was still an experimental tool (Frankland Building, Department of Chemistry, Birmingham Uni. UK). Ever used GC headspace analysis? API did a lot of anaerobe profiles for this technique (and both selectivity and sensitivity were pretty good!).We've got VERY few effective antibacterials right now. the WHO obssession with "Stewardship" is very short-sighted (actually inhibits new drug development, since the "newest" drugs are those subject to most inhibition in use!) - meanwhile we're suppposed to be still able to use the Penicillins developed nearly a century ago to treat "almost everything" - and fortunately many nasties (such as Syphilis) are still fully-sensitive to the early beta-lactams!One or two of the Sydney Hospitals have reported C. auris colonisations (both in renal transplant recipients, both o'seas visitors), and we're having to stock Fosfomycin for MDR GC - a drug that I last used in the late 1970's (simply because of the very rapid emergence of resistance via FOS-1, -2, and -3 induction).If you've the time (which you probably have not!), there's some scary stuff being reported in the Microbial Ecology journals (e.g. Wastewater Management). Emergence of an extensive flotilla of metallobetalactamases downstream from waste water treatment plants (secondary treatment, not tertiary). These are yet to spread to known pathogens, but given time . . . . . .

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

Hero's Edge TeamDepends Thu, 10/12/2017 - 00:22 Permalink… Study Finds Average American Stands No Chance Against What’s ComingEAST LANSING, MI—Saying they might as well not even bother preparing for it, a study published Monday by Michigan State University found that the average American stands no chance against what’s coming. “Our data show unequivocally that the vast majority of Americans will be snuffed out immediately the moment it gets here,” read the report in part, adding that many Americans falsely believed they were ready for it when, in fact, they were not in any respect. “It’s coming, and the average American will have barely enough time to even register what it is before they’re gone in the blink of an eye. Furthermore, our research also shows that in nearly all cases, people will have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide when it arrives. The typical American is toast.” An addendum to the report later concluded that it’s coming a lot sooner than the average American thinks.

In reply to by TeamDepends

canisdirus HRClinton Thu, 10/12/2017 - 23:15 Permalink

San Diego is definitely not a sanctuary city. Due to their border proximity and problems with illegals, they have strict laws that strongly discourage them from sticking around, along with widespread social support of ICE and the border patrol returning them. The illegals begin collecting up in Los Angeles, which is the first major city that won't deport them and doesn't socially support ICE.

The homeless in SD are almost all homegrown. If you remember the Elizabeth Smart story, they regularly traveled to Southern California (especially San Diego) for better weather.

In reply to by HRClinton

mscir Rapunzal Thu, 10/12/2017 - 21:00 Permalink

I live in SC, Ca, the fire dep't recently hosed off the steps to the downtown Post Office where homeless people frequently camp, because of Hepatitis concerns. Maybe you should actually do a little research before crying wolf. And we are a sanctuary city btw.

Santa Cruz County Among Hardest Hit In Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak…

What is a Sanctuary City?

In reply to by Rapunzal

GUS100CORRINA Wed, 10/11/2017 - 23:04 Permalink

San Diego's Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak Turns "Statewide Epidemic" As "Outbreak Could Last Years"My response: Floods, Hurricanes, Droughts, Fires and now pestilence. The only thing missing is a FINANCIAL CRASH!

Identify as Ferengi Wed, 10/11/2017 - 23:05 Permalink

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 Ancient Rome had robust sanitation systems. Much of the dark ages were dark due to poor sanitation. Beer and wine helped.