Fight against hepatitis A spreads to more neighborhoods

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Street cleaning is expanding to Hillcrest and Uptown to stop the hepatitis A disease that's already killed 17 people since November.

But, neighbors tell 10News the city needs to do more than that to stop the virus from spreading. 

Bob Ray's tennis store has been on University Avenue in Hillcrest for years. His problem with the homeless is nothing new. 

"When we come in in the mornings a lot of time they'll be just lined up here," said Ray. 

The recent hepatitis A outbreak has made it even worse, putting him and his customers at risk of the virus. 

"They like to use this semi-private area to urinate or whatever," said Ray. "I worry about touching the stuff that I know they've been touching so I go and wash my hands afterward.

"They'll be somebody sleeping in this alleyway and they'll have driven in and parked in the back, and they'll have to walk over a body in order to get to our store," he said.

He says simply bleaching the sidewalks isn't doing enough. 

"They'll go into the canyons or wherever they want to go and they'll come back. Now, they've got a nice clean place to stay."

Christo Hinojosa is one of those people forced out ahead of the cleaning. 

"We have nowhere to go that's just it," said Hinojosa. "It's terrifying to not have anywhere to stay and nobody to really help you."

He got his Hepatitis A vaccination but still doesn't feel safe. 
 
"I tell everybody, 'Go get your vaccines make sure and try not to share anything with anybody,' because most people won't tell you that they've got hepatitis."

He simply wants a bathroom: something the city does not plan to add to Hillcrest.  

Bob Ray would tell you that's exactly what they need. 

"I don't have an immediate solution for the world," said Ray. But for here, Porta Potties would help."

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