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County Supervisors Extend Hepatitis A State Of Emergency

November 7, 2017 1:18 p.m.

County Supervisors Extend Hepatitis A State Of Emergency

GUEST:

Dr. Wilma Wooten, public health officer, San Diego County

Related Story: County Supervisors Extend Hepatitis A State Of Emergency

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

THE LATEST FIGURES FROM SAN DIEGO'S HEPATITIS OUTBREAK SHOWS DOZENS OF NEW CONFIRMED CASES IN OCTOBER BRING US TO A TOTAL OF 544 CASE IS. BUT DESPITE YET ANOTHER MONTH OF THE INFECTION SPREADING, WE MAY BE SEEING EARLY SIGNS OF PROGRESS. THERE WERE 31 YOU CASES IN OCTOBER, LESS THAN HALF OF THE NEW CASES THE MONTH BEFORE. COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS THINK THE TIDE COULD BE TURNING BUT THERE'S STILL POTENTIAL FOR ANOTHER PEAK AND INFECTIONS. DURING MS. DR. WILMA WOOTEN SAN DIEGO COUNTY'S PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER. WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.INC. YOU.WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THE SLOWING INFECTION RATE TO?THE VACCINATION EFFORT THAT HAS BEEN MOUNTED SINCE THE GETTING OF THE OUTBREAK, BUT WE HAVE REALLY RAMPED UP VACCINATIONS AND PROBABLY FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS, OR HAVE BEEN VACCINATING OR PROVIDING ABOUT 6000 FAX NATIONS A WEEK. SO WE WANT TO MAINTAIN THAT EFFORT, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IS GOING TO GET US TO CREATING THE HERD IMMUNITY SO THAT WE HAVE THE APPROPRIATE NUMBER OF PEOPLE VACCINATED TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THIS DISEASE.HOW MANY SAN DIEGO'S HAVE BEEN VACCINATED AGAINST HEPATITIS A?WE HAVE NEW NUMBERS COMING UP THIS AFTERNOON. IT WILL BE JUST OVER 95 95,000 INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN VACCINATED.WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL FOR THESE INFECTION NUMBERS TO TURN AND START TO SPIKE AGAIN?IF THE INFECTION EXTENDS INTO OTHER POPULATIONS LIKE MEN HAVING SEX WITH MEN, OR EVEN THE GENERAL POPULATION. SO THAT IS WHAT OUR EFFORTS ARE FOCUSED ON, VACCINATING AS MANY INDIVIDUALS AS POSSIBLE THAT ARE IN THE AT RISK GROUPS. SO THAT WE DO NOT HAVE THE SPREAD OF THE INFECTION INTO THE GENERAL POPULATION.THE 20th CONFIRMED DEATH, WHICH WAS ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK WAS A MANY WOULD SEEM TO BE RECOVERING FROM THE VIRUS, BUT HIS SYMPTOMS LATER RETURN. HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU ABOUT OTHERS WHO MAY RELAPSE WESTERN MARKTHE RELAPSING, THAT DOES OCCUR IN SOME INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE IN FACT DID, AND THEIR SYMPTOMS APPEAR TO GET BETTER, AND THEN THEIR SYMPTOMS RETURN, AND THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED RELAPSING, BECAUSE IT COMES AND GOES. THAT IS A COMPLICATION OF HEPATITIS A. AND UNFORTUNATELY, THIS INDIVIDUAL SUCCUMBED TO THAT PARTICULAR COMPLICATION, SADLY ENOUGH.ROUGHLY WHAT PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE BEING PICKED -- TREATED FOR HEPATITIS A CAN RELAPSE?I THINK IT IS APPROXIMATELY 15-20% OF INDIVIDUALS CAN DEVELOP RELAPSE, IF THEY BECOME INFECTED.SUPERVISOR RON ROBERTS SUGGESTED YESTERDAY THAT WAY THE COUNTY RELEASES NEW INFECTION INFORMATION MAY BE MISLEADING. HE POINTED TO ONE OF THE CASES CONFIRMED TO OCTOBER WHICH DATED BACK TO APRIL. HOW FAR BEHIND CAN THIS DATA LAGS SOMETIMES? ARE YOU CONSIDERING NEW WAYS TO PRESENT IT?EVERY WEEK, WOMEN MAKE A PRESENTATION AT EVERY TWO WEEKS AND SOMETIMES IT IS EVERY WEEK. WE LET THE PUBLIC KNOW THAT THERE ARE CASES THAT ARE STILL IN THE SUSPECT CATEGORY. AND IF CDC CONFIRMS THOSE THAT THEY ARE MOVED INTO THE CONFIRMED CATEGORY. THIS WEEK OF THE 28 CASES THAT WERE REPORTED SINCE OUR LAST PRESENTATION, 12 OF THOSE WERE INDEED FROM THAT SUSPECT CATEGORY. THE LAST PRESENTATION WE HAD 42 CASES, THIS WEEK WE HAD 30. SO 12 OF THOSE WERE CONFIRMED. AND THEN THEY THEY WERE REPORTED OR DOCUMENTED ON THE CURVE EITHER BY THE ONSET OF THE SYMPTOMS. OR BY THAT WAS NOT PROVIDED OR AVAILABLE BY THE WEEK THEY WERE REPORTED. SO THAT'S WHY THERE WERE 12 ADDITIONAL CASES DATING BACK TO APRIL AND IN JULY THAT WERE REPORTED YESTERDAY. THAT LEFT HOWEVER 16 CASE THAT WERE NEW SINCE THE LAST REPORT TO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.IT HE MIGHT BREAK THAT OUT DIFFERENTLY IN THE FUTURE PERHAPS?WE ARE LOOKING AT WAYS TO BREAK THAT INFORMATION OUT MORE CLEARLY FOR THE NEXT PRESENTATION, WHICH ACTUALLY IS NEXT WEEK.ABOUT ONE QUARTER OF THE CASES COME FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT HOMELESS AND ARE NOT ILLICIT DRUG USERS. AND ABOUT HALF OF THOSE DO NOT HAVE ANY CLEAR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THESE OUT RISK POPULATIONS. SO THAT'S ABOUT 14% OF PEOPLE WITH HEPATITIS A WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. WHAT IS IT WE KNOW ABOUT THIS PEOPLE AND HOW THEY ARE CONTRACTING THE DISEASE?THAT'S WHAT WE KNOW. YOU HAVE THE INFORMATION THAT WE KNOW. WE CALL THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE IN NEITHER OF THE AT RISK POPULATIONS, WE HAVE BROKEN IT DOWN TO THE FACT THAT ABOUT 53% OF THEM OF THE 154, WHICH REPRESENTS 16% OF RATHER 154 WHICH REPRESENTS 20% OF THE TOTAL NUMBER. OF THAT NUMBER ABOUT 38% HAVE NO DIRECT EXPOSURE TO AT RISK GROUPS HOMELESS OR IV DRUG USERS.THIS IS SOMETHING WERE STILL STUDYING TO FIGURE OUT HOWIT WERE STILL TRYING TO FIGURE TO SEE IF THERE IS ANY ASSOCIATION OTHER THAN WHAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY TODAY.I'VE BEEN SPEAKING WITH SAN DIEGO PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER. DR. WILMA WOOTEN. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.INC. YOU FOR HAVING ME.