Tags: fecally-contaminated | san diego | hepatitis | hose down

San Diego Streets to Be 'Bleached' to Stop Hep A Outbreak

Image: San Diego Streets to Be 'Bleached' to Stop Hep A Outbreak

Crews were power-washing downtown San Diego streets on Monday to help stop spread of hepatitis among homeless people. (Screengrab of Twitter post@GaryWarthUT)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 07:01 AM

A San Diego hepatitis A outbreak has left 16 people dead, hundreds infected, and city workers hosing down “fecally-contaminated” downtown areas frequented by homeless people as one way to control the spread.

“The outbreak is being spread person-to-person and through contact with a fecally contaminated environment,” the Public Health Services Division said.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors declared a public health emergency in light of the outbreak and opened more than three dozen hand-washing stations in areas where the homeless tend to gather, KNSD-TV reported.

City crews started using a bleach solution to spray down East Village area sidewalks where homeless people gather and are targeting sidewalks below the Interstate 5 overpass, where the city already had installed jagged rocks in an attempt to deter homeless people from camping.

"By disinfecting our sidewalks and making additional public restrooms available 24/7, we're following the direction of county health officials to address the unsanitary conditions that have helped fuel this outbreak," Craig Gustafson, senior director of communications for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, said, per the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"We're taking swift action to eradicate this virus from our streets and keep our most vulnerable residents safe," Gustafson added.

A San Diego County statement last week said community agencies have immunized more than 19,000 people, including roughly 7,300 in the "at-risk population" of the outbreak.

The county said 209 "foot teams" of public health nurses have gone into areas where the homeless congregate to offer vaccinations. The county reported 256 mass vaccinations as of last week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus typically passed by fecal or oral matter from person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis A does not result in chronic infection but antibodies produced in response to Hepatitis A last for lifetime, the CDC stated. The centers stated that the best way to prevent Hepatitis A is by getting vaccinated.

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A San Diego hepatitis A outbreak has left 16 people dead, hundreds infected, and city workers hosing down “fecally-contaminated” downtown areas frequented by homeless people as one way to control the spread.
fecally-contaminated, san diego, hepatitis, hose down
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2017-01-12
Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 07:01 AM
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