Homeless people defecating on LA streets fuels horror hepatitis outbreak



by DCG

skid_row

Great job demorats!

From Fox NewsAn outbreak of hepatitis A is spreading through Los Angeles County after leaping from a large homeless contingent in San Diego, threatening thousands of people and fueling criticism that local officials have not done enough to contain the deadly liver disease.

Hundreds of cases have turned up in southern California as well as Michigan — but conditions in Los Angeles, where roughly 50,000 people live on the streets, have prompted deeper concerns.

Reports compiled by volunteer organizations have faulted city officials for not providing enough accessible toilets as the homeless population sharply increased by 23 percent this year.

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In a prescient warning, a June 2017 report by a collection of nonprofits called the LA Central Providers Collaborative sounded the alarm about crowding and living conditions on Skid Row, citing the city’s own predictions about the increased risk for hepatitis A and other diseases.

“One would think that Los Angeles, one of the greatest cities in the world, would exceed these minimal standards. However, this Audit finds that in Skid Row, Los Angeles fails to meet even the standards for a refugee camp,” the report said. “During overnight hours, there are only nine public toilets available for 1,777 unsheltered homeless people on Skid Row, and these toilets are largely inaccessible.”

The report noted that United Nations’ refugee camp standards are one toilet for every 20 people.

Fast-forward to September, and the county declared an outbreak affecting homeless people and illicit drug usersThe disease also is rising among gay and bisexual men, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health noted in a Nov. 2 advisory.

Los Angeles currently has 31 hepatitis cases – 15 among the homeless and 16 gay men.

Toilet access is a chief concern, as the disease can be contracted by ingesting or touching anything contaminated with infected feces. Homeless individuals without bathroom access defecating on the streets spreads the disease. 

Seventeen miles away is the community of Venice, a trendy beachside haven made famous by a young Arnold Schwarzenegger who once lifted weights in a makeshift gym set up along a boardwalk. The homeless liked the area, too, and the population has grown to about 1,000. The area has nine toilet stalls, none which are open at night.

Los Angeles County, meanwhile, has 42,828 homeless living on the streets, which swells to more than 50,000 during the day when many leave overnight shelters. Most are within the city of Los Angeles, which has a total of 2,800 toilets and 800 urinals located in parks that are open during daylight hours.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

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