Los Angeles County Public Health investigating Hepatitis A outbreak

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The Los Angeles Public Health Department is looking into a recent Hepatitis A outbreak.

Officials say five people experiencing homelessness have contracted Hepatitis A since mid-March, and are concerned because of how contagious the infection is.

Hepatitis A impacts the liver and is spread from person to person, many of whom don’t know that they have the virus. Medical officials can only diagnose the infection through a person’s blood or stool.

Public Health says unhoused individuals are at greater risk of being infected, since they may not have access to handwashing and toilet facilities.

Public Health is offering free hepatitis A vaccines to people experiencing homelessness in encampments and at interim housing sites where there is a risk of potential exposure. The Hepatitis A vaccine is typically a two-dose vaccine series that is safe and highly effective in preventing infection. 

Although the current risk to the public is low, Public Health recommends residents take the following actions to help prevent the spread of disease:

Check if you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A. If you haven’t, contact your medical provider to determine if you should be vaccinated. Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A. Wash your hands with soap and water before eating and preparing food and after using the bathroom.

Hepatitis A can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Symptoms of hepatitis include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, or yellow eyes/skin. Although rare, hepatitis A can cause death in some people.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.