Hepatitis A

A homeless person gets the Hep A vaccine from a County public health nurse

San Diego Hepatitis A Outbreak

On January 23, 2018, the County ended the local health emergency, declared on September 1, 2017, in response to the local hepatitis A outbreak. The action does not mean the outbreak is over, and the County will continue efforts it has taken to control the spread of the disease.

Anyone who received their first hepatitis vaccination before mid-September, 2017, should get a second dose now to complete the series and assure long-term protection. Although the first dose of the vaccine is considered to be around 95 percent effective, that protection will eventually begin to decrease and a second shot boosts immunity for between 20 and 40 years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The outbreak is being spread person-to-person and through contact with fecally contaminated environments. The majority of people who have contracted hepatitis A during this outbreak have been homeless and/or illicit drug users.

Efforts of the County and its community partners to halt the hepatitis A outbreak focus on three key areas: vaccination, sanitation and education

San Diego County Hepatitis A Outbreak Cases and Deaths: 
Data reported through October 3, 2018 and posted on October 9, 2018*
*Table will be updated every other Tuesday

Cases Hospitalizations Deaths
592 407 (68%) 20 (3.4%)

Note: Table does not include all reported hepatitis A cases in the county; only local-outbreak-related. Data are provisional and subject to change.

About Hepatitis A

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A virus is highly contagious. It can cause liver disease, lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting months. In some cases, people can die.

Take CDC's Hepatitis Risk Assessment and get a personalized report in 5 minutes.

How Is It Transmitted?

Hepatitis A virus is usually transmitted by:

  • Touching objects or eating food that someone with hepatitis A virus infection handled.
  • Having sex with someone who has a HAV infection.

What Are the Symptoms?

Hepatitis A virus does not always cause symptoms. Some people get hepatitis A virus and have no symptoms of the diseases. Adults are more likely to have symptoms than children.

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing of the eyes (jaundice), stomach pain, vomiting, dark urine, pale stools, and diarrhea.


For more information, visit 211's hepatitis A website or call 211.