SAN DIEGO – A grand jury report after the worst outbreak of hepatitis A in the United States in the last 20 years criticized the response of San Diego city and county officials on Thursday and recommended to improve communication for future health emergencies.
The outbreak killed 20 and contracted 577 people between November 2016 and October 2017.
The review titled "The San Diego Hepatitis A Epidemic: (mis) Addressing a Public Health Crisis" criticized the county and city for Inadequate Coordination That Delays Recovery Procedures
The report "correctly points out that there really was not a playbook for dealing with an unprecedented health crisis," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer:
"It's clear that There had to be better coordination and communication when the outbreak was first recognized and there were a lot of lessons that would help us move forward, "said the mayor. "The biggest lesson is that our community can not thwart difficult homelessness decisions because they make the problem worse."
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by a virus. It is usually transmitted from person to person or by eating contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, and jaundice.
The 20-page report recommended that officials effectively contact vulnerable residents and obtain vaccinations, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. Recommendations in this report include updating the district's emergency plan, creating clear lines, and appointing a doctor to report directly to the mayor.
He also recommends the construction of safe toilets and hand washing stations in homeless areas. People gather.
Officials vaccinated more than 100,000 people, installed dozens of hand washing stations, and cleaned streets with a bleach solution to stem the virus living in the stool. The emergency ended in January.
The mayor said the city is implementing a massive expansion of homelessness services, including the construction of shelters and the construction of new toilets.
The grand jury, consisting of 19 retired professionals, interviewed administrative health officials of the District Health and Human Services Agency, senior management of several local cities and law enforcement agencies across the region, before they draw their conclusions, the newspaper said.
Written reports, including local media accounts, professional medical papers, and internal emails were also examined.
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