Hundreds of people in San Diego are reportedly lining up to get Hepatitis A vaccinations, after a deadly outbreak of the virus in the city. Reports state that more than 200 people got themselves vaccinated this weekend as restaurants in the region reinforced their health safety measures.
This is the United States’ largest Hepatitis outbreak in decades, which has prompted county officials to declare a local public health emergency in the region.
“All eyes are on San Diego,” president of the Food & Beverage Association of San Diego, Steve Zolezzi said, according to Los Angeles Times.
“I’ve got things to do this morning but I wanted to get this taken care of, get some peace of mind,” Miguel Valle, a 65-year-old resident of East San Diego, said. Valle was one of the many residents in the region who lined up to get the free vaccinations at the county’s North Central Public Health Center on Saturday.
San Diego County health officials on Friday advised the public that anyone who consumed any food or drinks at the oceanfront World Famous restaurant on certain specified dates may have been exposed to a person infected with the hepatitis A virus, the LA Times reported.
“I’m a little angry because I have to go through this, but I’m not faulting the restaurant,” said Valle. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.” Valle and nine of his friends had consumed food at the eatery on August 28, which is one of the specified dates on the list.
“We’re in the midst of an outbreak and anybody who comes here who wants to get the shot, even if they didn’t eat at the restaurant, we’re going ahead and giving them the shot,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, director of the county’s epidemiology and immunization services branch.
The hepatitis A outbreak in the region has claimed a total of 16 lives and nearly 421 people have been detected with the infection. Out of these nearly 292 have been hospitalized.