The County of San Diego declared a local public health emergency due to the ongoing Hepatitis A outbreak. The people who are at a high risk of contracting Hepatitis A are the homeless and/or illicit drug users. The Hepatitis A virus is highly contagious, and is usually transmitted through person to person contact or through contact with a fecal contaminated environment.
How can businesses prevent the spread of Hepatitis A?
- Maintain routine and consistent cleaning of bathrooms for employees and the public, using chlorine based disinfectant (bleach) with a ratio of 1 and 2/3 cup of bleach to one gallon of water. Due to the high bleach concentration of this mix, rinse surfaces with water after 1 minute of contact time and wear gloves while cleaning.
- Routinely clean surfaces that are frequently touched like: Bathroom Surfaces, Kitchen Surfaces, Phones, Light Switch Plates, Tables and Chairs, Doorknobs, High Chairs, Computer Keyboards, Recreation Equipment, Railings Wheelchairs and Walkers, Remote Controls…
- Be sure to remind employees of the importance of hand-washing with soap and water after using the bathroom, and before preparing, serving, or eating food. Hand and arms must be washed thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Hepatitis A can survive in both wet and dry conditions. The Hepatitis A virus can last up to two months in a wet environment.
- Anyone doing disinfection procedures must also be in compliance with all applicable City ordinances. Additional best management practices are required when disinfecting sidewalks, streets, and storm drains for the protection of water quality. Capturing rinse water and sucking it up with a vector truck may be required to prevent discharges to the storm drain. Runoff created during disinfection activities is considered a non-storm water discharge which is to be effectively prohibited from entering the storm drain. The City of Carlsbad does not allow any chlorine to be discharged into the storm drain.
The best way to protect yourself is to continue to always use precaution AND get vaccinated. With your help, the County of San Diego can be one step closer to containing the Hepatitis A outbreak.