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What is causing an outbreak that has infected 181 people and killed four?

June 25, 2017

By Paul Sission : sandiegouniontribune – excerpt (includes video)

In the video, one of the homeless women explains the reason for the outbreak of hepatitis among the homeless community and tells anybody who doesn’t know what needs to be done to curtail the disease. 

San Diego County’s public-health officials are focusing on hygiene as they rev up their battle against the state’s largest hepatitis A outbreak in nearly two decades, a scourge that has infected 181 people and killed four since it was first detected in November.

Increased vaccination efforts, distribution of educational fliers and specialized field outreach campaigns — by government and nonprofit groups — haven’t been able to stop the spread of this viral disease among the region’s homeless...

A San Diego-based charity called Think Dignity operates a mobile shower and restroom trailer that provides showers and bathroom access for the homeless. Its service follows in the footsteps of Lava Mae, a nonprofit that operates similar trailers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Kris Kepler, a director for Lava Mae, said the organization is about to release a special guide for other nonprofits that want to operate their own mobile sanitation units. It’s a difficult process, she said, because cities usually require permits for the fire hydrant hook-ups, sewer dump locations and parking spots needed for these projects.

She said the key is having government leaders, residents and businesses all become invested in this approach to helping the homeless practice good hygiene.
“A lot of it is a question of how willing people are in a city to accept this kind of service,” Kepler said… (more)

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