Hepatitis A Outbreak forces San Diego to Declare Health Emergency

A highly contagious hepatitis A virus has hit the homeless population of San Diego. This outbreak of virus began in November and has spread after educational programs and vaccination in the city failed to minimize the rate of infection. This contagious virus attacks the Liver. The public health declaration boosts the Human Services Agency and county Health’s ability to demand the state assistance to fund new sanitation measures. Numerous portable hand-washing stations have been deployed for the areas with significant concentrations of homeless people. For power-washing contaminated surfaces, health workers are forced to use bleached-spiked water.

Programs to Control the Outbreak

The San Diego Public Health Officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten, signed the declaration into law that states the sanitation precautions are designed by considering similar programs running in other cities in Southern California such as Los Angeles. She shared that the L.A. had no cases of hepatitis A pertained to the strain, which San Diego is experiencing. If their programs have been successful in keeping them away from outbreak of this virus, it could help San Diego to fight the virus.

From the first outbreak in November, more than 15 people died in the area as of Friday. Furthermore, more than 350 have been sickened in the same time period. World Health Organization states that the most hepatitis A outbreaks spreads when the feces of an infected person contaminates the water or ingests food of uninfected person. This disease is associated closely with poor personal hygiene, inadequate sanitation, and unsafe water or food.