How can you tell if you have hepatitis A?

Posted at 12:00 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 19:26:10-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego County Health Department is warning San Diegans to be aware of the deadly hepatitis A outbreak.

The health concerns have led to street cleaning and hand washing station installations downtown.

On Friday, customers of a Pacific Beach restaurant were warned about possible exposure.

RELATED: Hepatitis A exposure possible at World Famous restaurant

The symptoms of hepatitis A appear two to seven weeks after exposure and include:

  • Mild fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Yellowness to the eyes or skin (jaundice)

Hepatitis A varies in severity, with mild cases lasting two weeks or less and in more severe cases lasting four to seven weeks or longer. Some individuals, especially children, may not develop jaundice or any symptom at all. However, even mildly ill people can still be highly infectious and should consult a physician, according to County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.

Someone with hepatitis can be contagious to others before they develop symptoms, according to the HHSA.

Free vaccinations are available through the County of San Diego. Call 211 to find the nearest clinic.

The county's North Central Public Health Center will have special hours Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to administer hepatitis A vaccinations. The center is located at 5055 Ruffin Road in Kearny Mesa.

Wooten said it's too early to tell if the restaurant case is linked to the current hepatitis A outbreak, which has sickened 421 people in the region since November, 16 of them fatally. Around two-thirds of those who have fallen ill in the outbreak were homeless and/or users of illicit drugs, she said.
As of Sept. 14, there have been 16 reported deaths connected to a hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego, the county's Health and Human Services Agency reported.

Due to the outbreak, crews have been washing down city streets.