Hepatitis A outbreak in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Public health authorities have declared an outbreak of hepatitis A in Los Angeles County, the third California region to see significant infections this year.

Health officials reported the outbreak to the county Board of Supervisors, which requested a briefing Tuesday due to the proximity of LA to San Diego, which has had more than 420 cases and 16 deaths since early this year.

Most of the San Diego cases are among homeless people or illicit drug users. Authorities there declared a health emergency.

In Northern California, Santa Cruz County has confirmed 69 hepatitis A cases since April, compared to the normal one or two a year.

The virus is transmitted fecal-orally, from person to person or through food or other items but it can be prevented by vaccine.

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