A month after San Diego began street-bleaching in an effort to control its spread, Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency as California’s Hepatitis A outbreak has “gone statewide,” with dozens dead and hundreds hospitalized.
In order to combat the disease, the southern California city of San Diego has literally begun spraying the streets with bleach.
An article by NPR said that the Hepatitis A was first identified in the area in early March, according to the county, and declared a public health emergency earlier this month. Nearly 400 people have been infected with the disease.
The majority of those sickened by this viral infection outbreak have been homeless people. A letter from San Diego County health officials stated that hepatitis A is being spread through contact with a “fecally contaminated environment” as well as person-to-person transmission. A big part of the problem is an apparent lack of public restrooms in areas where the homeless population congregates.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral infection, which can prove fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the virus attacks the liver. Adequate personal hygiene and sanitation can help prevent the spread of the virus.
But, as we pointed out earlier this week, the hepatitis A outbreak that started in San Diego is now on the verge of reaching statewide epidemic status, as cases have spread through homeless tent cities all the way north to Sacramento.
At least 569 people have been infected and 17 have died of the virus since November in San Diego, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles counties, where local outbreaks have been declared.
Dr. Monique Foster, a medical epidemiologist with the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters Thursday that California’s outbreak could linger even with the right prevention efforts.
“It’s not unusual for them to last quite some time — usually over a year, one to two years,” Foster said.
California’s outbreak of hepatitis A could continue for many months, even years, health officials said Thursday.
As ABC7.com reports, California is experiencing the largest hepatitis A outbreak in the United States transmitted from person to person – instead of by contaminated food – since the vaccine became available in 1996.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health declared a local outbreak of hepatitis A in September.
San Diego and Santa Cruz have also declared local outbreaks.
According to the CDPH, there have been a total of 18 deaths so far – all in the San Diego area, which has reported 490 cases of hepatitis A and 342 hospitalizations.
The CDPH said the Santa Cruz area has 71 reported cases and 33 hospitalizations; Los Angeles has 8 reported cases and 6 hospitalizations; and other regions in California have 7 reported cases and 5 hospitalizations.
This brings the total number of cases in the state to 576 with 386 hospitalizations.
This has prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency…
The emergency proclamation, which was issued by Brown on Friday, allows the state to increase its supply of hepatitis A vaccines in order to control the current outbreak.
Immunizations from the federal vaccine program have been distributed to at-risk populations in affected areas, but additional supplies are needed, according to a statement released by Brown’s office.
The emergency proclamation gives the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) authority to immediately purchase vaccines directly from manufacturers and distribute them to impacted communities.
Hepatitis A is commonly transmitted through contaminated food. The only outbreak in the last 20 years bigger than California’s occurred in Pennsylvania in 2003, when more than 900 people were infected after eating contaminated green onions at a restaurant.
California’s outbreak, however, is spreading from person to person, mostly among the homeless community…
“There’s syringes, there’s human feces, there are dead animals, rats alive, and dead rats … pee bottles, five-gallon buckets used as toilets,”
As Breitbart points out, California’s tent cities are the direct result of “proactive” legislation that forbids police from dispersing homeless people living in tent cities between the hours of 9pm and 5:30am.
California homeless advocates have been successful across the state in forcing cities to accept the homeless living in large tent communities on public property. The advocates refer to anti-homeless ordinances as the modern-day equivalent to post-slavery Jim Crow and Depression era anti-Okie laws that allowed police to disperse people deemed “undesirable” after dark.
The City of San Diego was forced to sign the Spencer Settlement in 2006, which forbids its Police Department from enforcing the city’s “Illegal Lodging Enforcement Guidelines” between the hours of 9 pm to 5:30 am.
California, with 115,738 homeless, now accounts for about 21 percent of America’s total homeless population. Due to legal settlements against vagrancy laws, about 72.3 percent of California’s homeless are unsheltered, usually living in tent cities.
If you like your socialist utopia, you can keep your socialist utopia in California.