Member Since: 1/1/01
San Diego Begins Power Washing Streets to Fight Hepatitis A
City officials have begun power washing parts of Downtown San Diego in an effort to combat the Hepatitis A outbreak.
Since the outbreak, 16 people have died and hundreds have been infected, making it the worst outbreak to hit San Diego in decades. The County Board of Supervisors declared the outbreak a public health emergency.
Monday, crews began spraying down East Village sidewalks with a bleach solution that kills the Hepatitis virus.
"We're probably going to be doing them every other Monday, see how that works out at least for the time being," said Jose Ysea, a City spokesman.
The bleach solution will be used on areas predominantly occupied by homeless San Diegans, including Market and 16th Street down through Commercial.
In addition to the power washing, city and county officials deployed 40 hand washing stations around the county. Three dozen hand washing stations have already been set up in areas where homeless people congregate.
Hepatitis A is a serious disease that attacks the liver and can prove fatal.
That means anyone who works or lives near the infected areas is at risk.
Laura Johnson, a small business owner downtown, just opened her business when she first learned about the outbreak.
"I literally had no idea until yesterday which is kind of scary," she said.
Jamie Miller, another small business owner in San Diego, was shocked to first learn about the outbreak.
"It sounds like a crazy thing to have on the streets in a first world city," Miller told NBC 7.
On Tuesday, the city will extend the operating hours for 14 restrooms in Balboa Park. The restrooms will be open 24/7.
The city is also exploring other options to increase the number of restrooms in the downtown area.