L.A. Gay And Bi Men Urged To Get Hep A Vaccine, Amid Reported Outbreak
Health officials are urging gay and bisexual men in Los Angeles County to be vaccinated for hepatitis A, amid reports of a massive outbreak within the state.
The Los Angeles Times reports that more than 20 people died, and 600 became sick, in an outbreak that originated in San Diego, and primarily affected the homeless.
Since then, in Los Angeles County, there has been a "surge" in cases of hep A reported among gay and bisexual men, who are not homeless.
The outbreak has led California to declare a state of emergency. Officials believe the outbreak to be the second worst in the country in more than 20 years.
L..A. county supervisor Janice Helm told the Los Angeles Times:
"This could be a huge public health crisis."
In addition to gay and bisexual men, health officials are urging first responders, law enforcement officials, and homeless people to be vaccinated.
14 gay or bisexual men were affected by a separate hepatitis A outbreak that affected the LA LGBT community, earlier this year.
Hepatitis A can be transmitted when an uninfected person ingests contaminated food or water, or through fecal-oral contact.