AABB is monitoring an ongoing outbreak of the hepatitis A virus in the San Diego area ahead of the 2017 AABB Annual Meeting, to be held Oct. 7-10. AABB is working closely with the San Diego Tourism Division, the San Diego Convention Center, as well as hotel and catering partners to help ensure continuous and safe operations for the Annual Meeting.
The San Diego Health and Human Services Agency began investigating the local hepatitis A outbreak earlier this year. According to the agency's investigation, the majority of cases in San Diego have occurred among the homeless and transient population and individuals using intravenous drugs. To combat the risk of further spread, the city of San Diego has commenced a multifaceted public health campaign. Portable handwashing stations have been set up in locations where homeless residents tend to congregate. Vaccination outreach efforts are being conducted, and health care facilities have implemented protocols to identify suspected cases and patients at risk. In addition, public streets are being sanitized.
Attendees who are pregnant, immunocompromised, and those with chronic liver disease, clotting-factor disorders and other high-risk health concerns, are advised to consult their health care provider regarding vaccination against hepatitis A. Additional information about hepatitis A is available from the CDC.
The health and safety of Annual Meeting attendees remains the association's highest priority. AABB will continue to work with partners in San Diego to mitigate the risk of infection for those traveling to and from the Annual Meeting. AABB will continue to update members with any new developments.