San Diego County officials extend emergency declaration for hep A outbreak as cases top 570

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency on Tuesday increased the tally of hepatitis A cases related to an ongoing outbreak to 571, marking a four-case uptick since Dec. 5, according to a report from Times of San Diego

Additionally, county health officials have reported 20 deaths and 390 hospitalizations as a result of the outbreak, which began in late 2016. While the outbreak appears to be stalling, the county's board of supervisors voted Tuesday to extend the outbreak's designation as a public health emergency. County officials first issued the public health emergency declaration to bolster the county's Health and Human Services Agency's ability to respond to the outbreak Sept. 1.

County health workers have administered 113,000 vaccinations to curb the spread of the virus. Though the rate of transmission is declining, health officials are continuing to urge those in at-risk populations — homeless and illicit drug users — to seek vaccination, according to the report.

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include abdominal pain, low-grade fever, nausea, fatigue and jaundice. The virus is highly transmissible and most often spread via contact with fecal matter from an infected individual.

To learn more about hepatitis A, click here.

More articles on infection control: 
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Florida saw more mumps cases in 2017 than in previous 5 years combined 
FDA bans 24 ingredients from hand soaps, antiseptic washes

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