San Diego streets power washed to fight Hepatitis A outbreak

A Hepatitis A epidemic in San Diego has prompted officials to have the streets sprayed with bleach solution to disinfect contaminated areas.


NSFW    SAN DIEGO — At least 16 people have died and more than 400 have been hospitalized following an outbreak of the deadly hepatitis A virus in 'America's Finest City'.

According to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, the Hepatitis A virus is spread through contact with a fecally contaminated environment, or person to person. It attacks the liver, and can be fatal.

Roughly two-thirds of those infected are homeless and/or drug users.

NBC San Diego reports that to combat the spread of the disease, city crews have begun powerwashing the streets with a bleach solution known to kill the virus. Street spraying has been scheduled three times a week, every other week.

Officials have already set up hand washing stations in areas where the homeless congregate, and deployed an additional 40 around the county.

Free vaccinations are also available and recommended to anyone frequenting downtown. Hepatitis A vaccines work by prompting the body to produce antibodies against the disease.

San Diego's precautionary efforts are modelled after those implemented in Los Angeles, where it proved effective.

In addition to street-spraying, installing hand-washing stations and administering vaccines, city officials are also looking into providing more bathroom access downtown.
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