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Acute Communicable Disease Control


Acute Communicable Disease Control

Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856
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 Information About Hepatitis Investigation
Hepatitis Investigation: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

  Hepatitis Investigation: Hepatitis C

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) is investigating viral hepatitis infections in people who received intravenous medication (injection of medications into the vein) while receiving procedures at the Advanced Pain Treatment Center in San Pedro, California between January 16, 2006 and August 18, 2010. LACDPH recommends that patients who received intravenous medication at this clinic during that time to contact their primary care physicians or health care providers to get tested for hepatitis B and hepatitis C and HIV. LACDPH is notifying these people and their primary physicians or healthcare providers (based on their medical records at this clinic). If you were a patient at this clinic who received intravenous medication between January 16, 2006 and August 18, 2010 and did not receive a letter from LACDPH, call 213-240-7941 to verify you are on the patient list.

If you received intravenous medication at this clinic between January 16, 2006 and August 18, 2010, we recommend that you get tested for hepatitis B and hepatitis C as a precaution, even though the risk that you got infected at the time of your procedure is low. The hepatitis B and C test is a blood test. If you do test positive there are treatments available. We recommend that you be evaluated and tested by your regular healthcare provider (HCP) because he/she will know your health history and provide complete care. If you are known to have been previously infected with HBV, HCV or HIV, testing for that specific virus is not necessary. In this situations, testing for the other viruses should still be done. We have provided a letter give to your HCP when he/she does your testing (or wherever you are tested) as the letter tells the HCP exactly what tests we recommend. If you test positive for HBV, HCV or HIV, it will be important for your HCP to report your infection to the LACDPH and to provide appropriate counseling and treatment.

Call your HCP for evaluation, testing and questions. Only if you do not have health insurance see the clinics listed below for evaluation and testing at a low or no cost. 

Westside Neighborhood Clinic
2125 Santa Fe Ave.
Long Beach CA 90810
Harbor Community Clinic
593 West 6th St.
San Pedro, CA 90731
Wilmington Community Clinic
1009 N Avalon Blvd.
Wilmington, CA 90744
Torrance Public Health Center
711 Del Amo Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90502
Long Beach Comprehensive
Health Center
1333 Chestnut Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90806
South Bay Family Healthcare
742 W. Gardena Blvd.
Gardena, CA 90247
South Bay Family Healthcare
Redondo Beach
2114 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

For more information on this investigation, see Hepatitis Investigation at Pain Clinic, 2010-2011,
Questions and Answers, English / Spanish .

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus (germ). When first infected, a person can develop an "acute" HCV, which can range in severity from a very mild illness with few or no symptoms to a serious condition requiring hospitalization.

Acute HCV is a short term-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the hepatitis C virus (germ). For reasons that are not known, 15%--25% of people "clear" the virus (germ) without treatment. Approximately 75%--85% of people who become infected with the HCV virus (germ) develop "chronic," or lifelong, infection.

Chronic HCV is a long-term illness that occurs when the HCV remeins in a person's body. Over time, it can lead to serious liver problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer.

  • For every 100 people infected with HCV
    • 75--85 will develop chronic HCV
    • 60--70 will develop chronic liver disease
    • 5--20 will develop cirrhosis of the liver
    • 1--5 will die of cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer

HCV is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the hepatitis C virus (germ) enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with with HCV by sharing needles or other equipment to infect drugs. Before widespread screening of the blood supply began in 1992, HCV was also commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. Although uncommon, outbreaks of HCV have occurred from blood contamination in medical settings.

Many people with HCV do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. Even though a person has no symptoms, the virus (germ) can still be detected in the blood.

If symptoms occur with acute infection, the can appear anytime from 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure. Symptoms of chronic HCV can take up to 30 years to develop. Damage to the liver can silently occur during this time. When symptoms do appear, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease. Symptoms for both acute and chronic HCV can include

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Grey-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)

Healthcare providers can diagnose HCV using specific blood tests that are not part of blood work typically done during regular physical exams. Typically, a person first gets a screening test that looks for "antibodies" to the HCV. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream even the person clears the virus (germ). If the screening test is positive for HCV antibodies, different blood test are needed to determine whether the infection has been cleared or has become a chronic infection.

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