San Diego starts washing down sidewalks, streets to fight hepatitis A outbreak

Crews working for a private contractor began power-washing sidewalks with a chlorine solution in downtown San Diego on Monday, part of an effort to stop the spread of hepatitis A among homeless people.

The crews cleaned sidewalks around 17th and Imperial avenues, where hundreds of homeless congregate and live in tents and other shelters.

The washings will resume on Wednesday and Friday in other areas downtown and continue every other week.

The hepatitis A outbreak has left 15 homeless people dead and hospitalized nearly 300 others. A lack of adequate access to restrooms, showers and hand-washing stations is believed to have contributed to the spread.

The county has provided hepatitis vaccinations to 19,000 people, including 7,300 considered to be at risk of contracting the disease.

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