Death Toll rises as Hepatitis A claims over 19 lives in California

Hepatitis A has claimed over 19 lives and left 500 others infected in California.

California faces the worst Hepatits A outbreak in 20 Years.
Image Source: Google Images

The first case of hepatitis A was detected in August last year and has gained momentum since.
Hepatitis A is a communicable disease spread through food and water.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 13 strains of the hepatitis A virus in samples collected from infected patients.“This group is unique in the sense that, before it was sequenced in our outbreak, it had not been seen before,” McDonald said.

 

California Government Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency last Friday, October 13. Brown said the federally-funded supply of vaccines is inadequate. His proclamation allows the state to buy vaccines directly from manufacturers and distribute them.

Symptoms of hepatits A. Source: Google images

Over 81,Hepatitis A is a virus that damages the liver and causes it to swell. Many of the initial symptoms look like a stomach flu, but Hepatitis A can also cause the skin and the whites of your eyes to turn yellow, because the liver stops being able to filter out toxins in the blood.000 federally-funded vaccine doses have been distributed since the outbreak began.

The local government bodies are trying to combat the situation by disinfecting city streets with bleach and setting up hand-washing stations.

The government has set up tents in hope of controlling the situation.
Source: BBC

There has been a 10% rise in homeless situations according to a recent study by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.

More than 5000 people have no shelter or access to proper sanitation conditions. Typically only one out of every 100 patients die from Hepatitis A, according to officials, but the disease has killed at a higher rate in California due to the vulnerable populations it has affected.

Health officials have advised that it may take months or years before the outbreak tapers off.

 

On-the-go homes are being provided for the homeless. Source: BBC

 


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 but no action had been taken. The complaint was filed after a prisoner in the city jail was detected with Hepatits A.

 

“There’s syringes, there’s human feces, there are dead animals, rats alive, and dead rats … pee bottles, five-gallon buckets used as toilets,” said safety Steward, Brian Clay.