By Mac Slavo
Salt Lake City, Utah is only one of three major cities in the United States experiencing a Hepatitis A outbreak. And now health officials are warning residents to protect themselves against infection, as the outbreak is expected to last for “months.”
There seems to be no end in sight for the cities grabbling with Hepatitis A outbreaks. Spurred by over-regulation and taxation, homelessness is now the norm in many US cities, Salt Lake City being no different. And Health officials in Utah now believe they could continue to see new cases of Hepatitis A for the next several months.
The first outbreak of Hep A began in back in May in San Diego, but Salt Lake City started to notice serious issues in August. Since then, at least 75 cases have been reported statewide. With at least 3-4 new cases being discovered each week. The normal amount of Hepatitis A cases is around 2-4 per year.
Nicholas Rupp of the Salt Lake County Health Department said one of the main contributors to the outbreak among those experiencing homelessness is a lack of access to hygiene needs. “Places to use the restroom, places to wash their hands, and those things all contribute to the transmission of Hepatitis A,” said Rupp. “Hepatitis A is not killed effectively by alcohol-based hand sanitizers,” said Rupp. “We always say hand sanitizers no matter what you’re trying to accomplish are not a substitute for hand washing.”
Hepatitis A is often spread because of fecal matter getting on someone’s hand. If a person does not wash their hands properly with warm soapy water, they can spread the infection to surfaces they touch. With temperatures dropping outdoor hand washing stations are not an option in Salt Lake City, and although Click to see the original article