Petition: Investigate Mayor Faulconer for Criminal Negligence in Hepatitis A Outbreak

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The use of sidewalks and public rights of way as toilets by the homeless has created unsanitary conditions that health officials think have contributed to the spread of the virus.

San Diego County health officials, in a letter, said that Hepatitis A was being spread through coming into contact with fecally contaminated environments and through person-to-person transmission.

As of last Thursday, officials said 22,966 people have been vaccinated.

Ferrar urged anyone working with high-risk individuals-including health care providers, food-service workers and shelter employees-to get vaccinated.

San Diego health officials said today the outbreak was the second worst in the county with 444 ill, 16 dead and two more being investigated, according to CBS News 8.

The county typically sees about 40-60 cases of hepatitis A annually from the population at large, with a concentration often found among food- service workers.

For people who are in San Diego, and for those who will need to enter the city, there are ways to protect against possible Hepatitis A infections. The County has been offering free vaccinations for the past several months - including sending nurses with vaccines into homeless encampments and other hepatitis A hotspots - with more than 22,000 people vaccinated so far.

The city has started to comply with the directive, and on September 11 started washing areas where homeless people frequent using a diluted solution of household bleach.

The name of the establishment that is now in question is the "World Famous Restaurant" it is located at 711 Pacific Beach Drive in San Diego.

Someone who is infected with this virus is contagious before they develop symptoms.

Hepatitis A is usually not life threatening, but older patients and those who have previous liver conditions can succumb to the disease. It can also be transmitted by being in contact with someone who is infected. "This is one of the many steps the city is taking to assist the County of San Diego in addressing this public health emergency".

Keeping hands clean can prevent contagion and part of the county outreach to homeless individuals will include distributing hand sanitizer.

The goal of the event was to launch a public education campaign on what individuals can do to avoid becoming afflicted with hepatitis A: primarily getting vaccinated and thoroughly and regularly washing their hands.

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