As a deadly hepatitis A outbreak booms, county public health officials aren’t sharing detailed location data on cases or deaths with the public – or with cities scrambling to help stem the health crisis.
It’s meant cities including San Diego, El Cajon and Chula Vista are basing increased sanitation efforts on public complaints and areas where their homeless populations cluster rather than on detailed data and that the public has little information on where the virus is spreading.
Maps released by the county show hepatitis A has spread most dramatically in downtown San Diego and El Cajon and appears to have clustered in other central city neighborhoods.
Map courtesy of San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency
The county hasn’t released more specific data on where the more than 480 patients who’ve contracted hepatitis A were living when they were diagnosed. County officials blame state and federal health privacy laws and challenges tracking the homeless and illicit drug-using populations hit hardest by the virus for their limited data-sharing.