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What public health strategies have been used to interrupt person-to-person outbreaks of hepatitis A, particularly among those who are homeless/under-housed or use drugs? How have innovative partnerships and outreach approaches contributed to local public health responses, including targeted promotion of hepatitis A vaccination?
This session will focus on local public health responses to recent hepatitis A outbreaks in two jurisdictions: San Diego County, California, and Middlesex-London, Ontario. In San Diego County’s 2016-2018 outbreak, 592 cases and 20 deaths were reported. People experiencing homelessness and people who use drugs were most affected during this outbreak. Middlesex-London is one of the health units affected by an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Ontario resulting from person-to-person transmission. In Middlesex-London in 2018, most outbreak-related cases have occurred in people who are homeless/under-housed and among people who inject drugs.
Participants will have the opportunity to interact with the presenters during a question and answer period.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Describe the key epidemiological characteristics of the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Ontario, in Middlesex-London, and in the recent hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County;
- Identify three innovative strategies that have been used in local public health responses to recent hepatitis A outbreaks resulting from person-to-person transmission;
- Identify potential non-traditional local partners that can help with the response to hepatitis A outbreaks resulting from person-to-person transmission.
Presenters: Dr. Eric C. McDonald and Dr. Alexander Summers
Dr. McDonald is the Medical Director of the Epidemiology & Immunization Services Branch in Public Health Services at the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. He earned his MD at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and a Master of Public Health from San Diego State University. Prior to his work in public health, Dr. McDonald had a 24-year career in the United States Navy Medical Corps, practicing emergency medicine.
Dr. Summers is an Associate Medical Officer of Health at Middlesex-London Health Unit. He completed the MD program at Queen’s University, family medicine training at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and a Master of Public Health at Harvard University. He is a graduate of the Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.
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