SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s public health emergency for Hepatitis A has ended, officials declared Tuesday, after no new cases of the liver-damaging virus were reported in the past month and no deaths since October.
Officials vowed to continue efforts to keep the illness under control.
On Sept. 1, authorities declared the emergency to fight the worst epidemic of its kind in 20 years in the U.S. It killed 20 people and sickened 577 people between November 2016 and October 2017.
Officials vaccinated more than 100,000 people, installed scores of hand-washing stations and cleaned streets with a bleach solution to contain the virus that lives in feces.
“New outbreak activity has leveled off to near zero,” said Wilma Wooten, San Diego County public health officer. “The sustained vaccination, sanitation and education efforts we undertook will continue and we will remain vigilant to make sure that the outbreak activity doesn’t return.”
Three giant tents opened to temporarily house hundreds of homeless people, the most affected population.
The outbreak spread to at least three other states.
While the Hepatitis A cases have eased, San Diego now is battling thousands of cases of flu. The county is among the hardest hit in California and in the nation this season.
A total of 142 flu deaths have been reported through Jan. 13, 2018, the highest ever since the county began tracking it about 20 years ago. The previous deadliest flu season was in 2014-15, when 97 deaths were reported.