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Latest: San Diego mayor sees lessons from hepatitis outbreak

Latest: San Diego mayor sees lessons from hepatitis outbreak Photo: AP.

May 17, 2018 07:51 PM

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on a report on the handling of a Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

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San Diego's mayor says he agrees with a county grand jury report that found communication between authorities was lacking during a recent Hepatitis A epidemic.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Thursday that the outbreak was an "unprecedented health crisis" and city and county officials need to improve coordination ahead of the next emergency.

The grand jury said poor communication delayed sanitation procedures that could have slowed the spread of Hepatitis A, especially among the homeless population.

The outbreak killed 20 people and sickened more than 575 between November 2016 and last fall.

Faulconer said the crisis underscored the need to address the homelessness problem. He said the city is implementing the largest expansion of homeless services in city history.

1:30 p.m.

A San Diego County grand jury report faults local response to a recent Hepatitis A epidemic and recommends improving lines of communication to prepare for future health emergencies.

The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper says the 20-page report released Thursday commends officials for effectively contacting at-risk residents and getting them vaccinations.

But the grand jury criticizes the county and the city for inadequate coordination that delayed sanitation procedures that could have slowed the spread of Hepatitis A.

The report recommends updating the county's emergency operations plan and designating a medical professional to report directly to the San Diego mayor.

The outbreak killed 20 people and sickened 577 between November 2016 and October 2017.

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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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