Hepatitis A? Is it in L.A.? Yes! So watch out!

For all of you who live in Los Angeles or San Diego, Careful out there!

First of all, Hepatitis A is contracted through bodily fluids.  So, don’t share things you put in your mouth with anyone.  That means don’t share food, cigarettes, drinks or anything else you’re going to put in your mouth.  Over 440 people in San Diego have been declared to have the Hep A virus.   That’s a lot more than the 69 people that have been diagnosed in Santa Cruz so I think it’s pretty safe to say that San Diegans need to be extra careful.  16 people have died in San Diego already.

According to Dr Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public health there have been about 10 cases of the virus in Los Angeles.  Although that may seem small it’s still more than usual.  Also, it seems as though homeless people are in the community that the virus is traveling through right now.  That doesn’t mean you should be less careful, because given what we know about Hep A? Anyone can get it anytime!

Hep A is spread primarily through fecal matter either through close contact with a person who’s been infected or by eating food that’s been contaminated.  Hint: Eat at restaurants with an A grade displayed at the door.  You’re less likely to get it from there.  Also, make sure you wash you hands before and after you eat.  Prevention is the best strategy here.  You never know what is going to happen but if you forget to prevent yourself from getting the disease, you’ll regret it later.

The City of Los Angeles has been trying to minimize the spread of the disease that can kill people with existing liver conditions.  The city has been washing skid row streets with bleach and is working on issuing 40,000 vaccinations for the homeless community.  The city has also sent out inspectors to homeless encampments to raise awareness of the disease that has been spreading.  Because even small amounts of contact with contaminated areas or people can spread Hep A, the city has been washing the the streets in Skid Row with water first then a disinfectant solution that uses bleach as the main ingredient.

Los Angeles got into a bit of trouble in 2012 when it was cited with health hazards that could have been prevented.  It started a program called “Operation Healthy Streets” to help fight unsanitary conditions.  So far so good, I guess, because out of the areas that have had a bit of a Hep A outbreak  Los Angeles seems to have the slowest spreading numbers.  That doesn’t mean you should feel totally safe.  It just means that Los Angeles has had this type of trouble before and has taken measures that helped to slow down this Hep A outbreak.

Hep A Vaccination Recommendations  CLICK THIS LINK!

The truth is that no matter what you do, you may still be exposed to this disease because if you eat out once in a while, you really don’t know who’s handling your food or how they handled it.  But, this isn’t meant to scare you.  Although, I must admit it scares me a bit.  Just take the necessary precautions that you would normally take and have your hands be clean.  Tell people you know that this is happening in Los Angeles and the surrounding cities.  Increase the awareness of people around you and you should be fine.

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