Hepatitis A Precautions Taken At Balboa Park Amid Outbreak

San Diego city officials are setting up hand washing stations to curb an outbreak of hepatitis A									San Diego Union Tribune via AP  John Gibbins

Hundreds of people have reportedly been affected by hepatitis A, which attacks the liver.

The victims have been mainly homeless people, who have been coming to the city in significantly increasing numbers.

San Diego has begun sanitary street washing efforts after county officials demanded the city act on a plan to address the "fecally contaminated environment" downtown.

The hepatitis A outbreak has left 15 homeless people dead and hospitalized almost 300 others.

So far, 15 people have died and 300 have been hospitalized in relation to the public health crisis. There were 5,619 people reported homeless in San Diego earlier this year, 3,231 of whom were living on the streets without shelter, according to the Regional Task Force on the Homeless.

Amid an outbreak across San Diego County that health officials say has led to 16 deaths and almost 300 hospitalizations, workers were power-washing areas in downtown San Diego earlier this week with water laced with chlorine and bleach, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The move by the city to start sanitizing the streets came after San Diego County wrote a letter to the city Thursday. In an August 31 letter from the county health department, officials asked the city to move forward with the sanitation measures and gave the city five days to respond with a plan, according to the LA Times.

The big fuel pinch: Petrol, diesel prices skyrocket
Defending the policy for daily revision of fuel prices, he said petrol and diesel prices are deregulated and are market aligned. The central government is not considering reducing the excise tax to bring down the skyrocketing prices of petrol and diesel.

The city will also open Balboa Park's 14 public restrooms 24 hours a day on a trial basis beginning Tuesday, according to Gustafson.

The county moved forward last weekend with its own contractor, who installed 40 hand-washing stations in areas where the homeless often gather.

In addition to regularly pressure-washing dirty city right-of-ways with chlorinated water, the county also asked the city to "immediately expand access to public restrooms and wash stations within the city limits that are adjacent to at-risk populations". Now, public health officials are requesting that food handlers obtain vaccinations (if they aren't already vaccinated).

She said county health officials informed her that the virus can survive in the water for a few months.

As of Monday, workers dressed in protective white gear and red hard hats were seen outside spraying the sidewalks with a bleach-based liquid in hopes of killing the virus that lives in human feces.

"No common sources of food, beverage or drugs have been identified that have contributed to this outbreak, though investigation is ongoing", according to the department.

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