Hepatitis A prevention efforts expand, outbreak slow down could take 6 months

Virus has killed 17, sickened 461 since November
Posted at 7:35 AM, Sep 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 10:35:49-04

(KGTV) -- County efforts to end the deadly hepatitis A outbreak is spreading to more neighborhoods across San Diego. The virus has killed 17 people and sickened over 460 people since November, according to county health officials.

Health officials expect this outbreak to last for at least another six months.

On Friday morning, officers will be moving homeless people off sidewalks and streets so crews can begin power washing in Hillcrest.

But local businesses and residents tell 10News the city needs to do more than that to stop the virus from spreading.

Most people diagnosed are homeless or illicit drug users, but 24% are neither, officials said.

"They like to use this semi-private area to urinate or whatever," said Bob Ray a tennis store on University Avenue. His store has been in Hillcrest for years and says the homeless issue surrounding his neighborhood is nothing new. 

"I worry about touching the stuff that I know they've been touching so I go and wash my hands afterwords. "They'll be somebody sleeping in this alleyway and they'll have drived in and parked in the back, and they'll have to walk over a body in order to get to our store."