The official case total for San Diego’s long-running hepatitis A outbreak increased seven Tuesday though the death total remained unchanged at 20 for another week, according to the latest update from the county Health and Human Services agency.  Now at 553, the case tally does not include 31 suspected but not-yet-confirmed cases, 12 of which were referred to the public health department in the last week, according to a county spokesman.

That’s four more cases than the eight referred two weeks ago, indicating that while the outbreak is no longer generating 20 or more new cases per week as it did from May to early September, the region’s current hepatitis A emergency is not yet over. Since the county declared a public health emergency on Sept. 1, millions have been spent on hand-washing stations, street cleaning and temporary housing for the homeless. READ MORE