San Diego County’s Hepatitis A OutbreakCity of El Cajon Takes Steps to Combat the Spread of Hepatitis A
The City of El Cajon has been working closely with the County of San Diego and other partners since the announcement of the recent Hepatitis A outbreak. The City is taking an aggressive and proactive role in protecting the safety of the City’s residents and visitors.
This page includes a summary of important facts and prevention tips along with actions the City has taken to address the Hepatitis A outbreak.
Facts and Prevention Tips
The County of San Diego has released the following information about the Hepatitis A virus:
- The County estimates that 75% or more of those that have contracted Hepatitis A are either homeless individuals or illicit drug users
- Highly contagious, the Hepatitis A virus is usually transmitted from person-to-person contact, usually through fecal contamination
- The vaccination of the most vulnerable population is the key to ending the outbreak. The County recommends that the following receive the two-part Hepatitis A vaccination:
- Individuals who are homeless
- Illicit drug users
- Food handlers
- Those that have regular contact with the homeless (public safety workers, medical staff, homeless service providers, etc.)
- Most people under the age of 20 year of age in California were required to be vaccinated prior to entering school
- For the general public, effective ways to protect yourself include:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds on a regular basis, especially after using the restroom
- Avoid intimate contact with someone infected with Hepatitis A
- Don’t share food, towels, toothbrushes or eating utensils with someone that may be infected with Hepatitis A
Many City departments have taking a role in protecting the safety of the City’s residents. Below is a list of actions the City has taken or is currently working on to address this issue:
- Authorized the County to install handwashing stations at Prescott Promenade, outside the County library, and in conjunction with MTS at Trolley Stations
- The El Cajon Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team accompanies County of San Diego nurses routinely for in-the-field Hepatitis A vaccinations
- Power washing and sanitizing sidewalks, curbs and benches in areas where homeless congregate
- Reached out to over 360 restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations and provided information about prevention measures
- Ensured information about Hepatitis A is posted in public facilities including the library and recreation centers
- Contacted school districts with additional information
- Ensured that all City restrooms are being cleaned with effective Hepatitis A cleansers
- Requested MTS to power wash trolley station platforms
- Provided information about the outbreak, prevention tips, and a summary of the City’s efforts to address Hepatitis A on the City’s webpage and through its social media accounts
- Requested that the County translate all of its Hepatitis A literature into Arabic
In addition, the County of San Diego has conducted approximately thirty vaccination events and administered approximately 500 vaccines to individuals within the City of El Cajon thus far.
The City will continue to seek to be involved in any additional beneficial preventive strategies.
If you are homeless, an illicit drug user, a food handler, or work in professions that are in contact with the homeless, the County encourages you to become vaccinated. To obtain a vaccine:
- Visit your primary physician
- Call 2-1-1 to find a community clinic near you
The County of San Diego’s Public Health Center (located at 367 N. Magnolia Avenue) offers free vaccines for walk-in patients. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. (except Thursdays) and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Family Health Centers of San Diego also offers free vaccines for walk-in patients (located at 525 East Main Street and 111 West Chase Avenue).