Hepatitis Virus Outbreak in San Diego Kills 15

Hepatitis Virus Outbreak

The sunny city of San Diego in Southern California is experiencing an outbreak of the Hepatitis A virus. So far, 279 persons have been hospitalized and 15 have died.

Many of the victims are homeless.

The situation is so dire that the city has resorted to pressure-washing its “fecally contaminated” downtown area with diluted bleach. Dozens of handwashing stations have also been set up.

To underline how serious the outbreak is, the San Diego Board of Supervisors has formally declared a state of emergency.

Hepatitis A is caused by a highly contagious virus that infects the liver. The virus can be easily spread through contaminated food and water, as well as contact with fecal matter and bodily fluids. Sex is another common vector.

In the particular case of San Diego, the city has sounded the alarm that feces dropped out in the open appears to be one of the primary causes of this outbreak.

Tenants who live in the skyscrapers overlooking the homeless population in the streets below have so far been able to isolate themselves from the outbreak. They do have a good view however of transients openly urinating and defecating on the sidewalks.

Oddly, although there is a highly effective Hepatitis A vaccine, there seem to be no plans to vaccinate the vulnerable population. Neither are there plans to provide restrooms.

A theory circulating among homeless advocates is that the banning of plastic bags since November 2016 could be the ultimate source of the current outbreak. It is anecdotally said that transients used to be able to relieve themselves and dispose of the waste much more efficiently with the abundant availability of free plastic bags.