VICE News

California Is Trying to Fight a Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak

In San Diego, where more than 500 cases have been reported, the virus has already killed 19 people.
October 18, 2017, 1:37pm

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency amid a growing outbreak of Hepatitis A, a highly-contagious virus that affects the liver. In San Diego, where more than 500 cases have been reported, the virus has already killed 19 people.

"I've been a nurse here for 25 years," said Paulina Bobenrieth, who works for San Diego County's public health department. "And this is an unprecedented outbreak."

The outbreak isn't unprecedented because of the virus itself, but because of the people it's affected: illicit drug users and the homeless. Hepatitis A spreads by fecal matter—even in microscopic amounts—so those who lack access to proper sanitation are the most at risk. Continue reading on VICE News.