To fight hepatitis outbreak, San Diego begins power-washing streets with bleach

Workers will be power washing the downtown streets of San Diego with a bleach-based substance

Workers will be power washing the downtown streets of San Diego with a bleach-based substance

Starting this Monday, workers dressed in white protective gear and red hard hats will be spraying the sidewalks with a "bleached-based liquid" under high-pressure.

"We're probably going to be doing them every other Monday, see how that works out at least for the time being", Jose Ysea, a city spokesman, told NBC San Diego.

Meanwhile, additional San Diego police escorts will be provided for the county's mobile vaccination teams and expanded vaccination clinics will be opened at public libraries.

The Los Angeles Times reported that San Diego's recent efforts come in response to calls from the county, which has declared a public health emergency. "Offering more clean and safe spaces that transition the homeless from living on the streets to living in a permanent home is exactly what San Diego needs right now". Now, the city is implementing an extension on public restrooms hours, opening the possibilities for these homeless people to find the toilets available 24/7.

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

The streets in San Diego now are being washed to hopefully remove "all feces, blood, bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces".

This year, according to a study led by the University of New Hampshire statistician Chris Glynn, and sponsored by the real estate database company Zillow, the number of people living in the street might have duplicated comparing with the last year.

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. This represents a significant expansion of our homeless service network and is one of the most immediate and effective actions we can take to provide relief to unsheltered people who are suffering and want help.

Since the outbreak began, San Diego's Health & Human Services Agency has confirmed a staggering 421 cases; about 70% of those infected have been hospitalized.

In addition, 40 hand-washing stations were installed in areas where the city's homeless gather, according to local news reports. More than half (65%) are homeless, illicit drug users, or both. In addition, another small business owner in San Diego named Jamie Miller, who was also shocked when he knew about the outbreak, told NBC 7 that "It sounds like a insane thing to have on the streets in a first world city".

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