San Diego has declared war on a deadly epidemic of Hepatitis A. City officials announced that their streets are going to receive a power wash with bleach each fortnight. On top of that, key places where the majority of homeless people tend to gather will get hand-washing stations. As a consequence, public health workers and private cleaning companies are taking the fight against disease on the streets. Unfortunately, the Hepatitis A outbreak has already claimed 16 lives.
San Diego’s Hepatitis A Outbreak Affected Primarily the Homeless Segment
San Diego city started collaborating with county authorities to put an end to a health crisis that has been lasting since last November. There are 421 cases of Hepatitis A on top of 292 hospitalizations and 16 deaths. By reinforcing their efforts, officials took a better grip on their containment plans.
They put into practice every strategy from vaccination to sharing informative flyers on Hepatitis A. The city has also offered temporary accommodation to homeless people who represent the most affected segment of the population by this outbreak.
City Officials Resorted to Street Washing, Increased Sanitation Efforts, Educational Campaigns and Others to Fight the Outbreak
On Monday, the city stepped up its sanitation program. San Diego chose to resort to a private contractor to spray the streets with bleach in order to eliminate bacteria. The same company placed outdoor hand washing stations in key places that numerous homeless people tend to visit. On top of that, 14 public bathrooms are now available 24 hours a day.
The Hepatitis A outbreak is usually supported by infected feces that enter into contact with food and drinking water. Therefore, health officials insist on people resorting to hand washing after bathroom use of before dinner time. This is perceived as the most effective solution to combating the spread of the virus. Even though the infection is not usually fatal, it can lead to death if virus hosts have their liver compromised due to drug use, illness or congential issues.
As of September 1, San Diego County labeled the epidemic as an official public health emergency. Authorities started a comprehensive campaign through educational materials, vaccinations, and boosted sanitation efforts.
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