Outsourcing your organization’s commercial cleaning services needs to a certified and experienced custodial vendor will help eliminate the concerns and challenges schools and businesses face in the wake of an ongoing and expanding Hepatitis-A outbreak throughout Southern California.
Commercial Cleaning Services to Address Hepatitis-A Outbreaks
An outbreak of Hepatitis-A has recently struck San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles, with health officials concerned about its potential spread to other Southern California communities.
According to the Los Angeles Times;
Since November , 421 people in San Diego County have been infected with the virus, including the 16 who died.
A related outbreak began in Santa Cruz County as well this year, where 69 people have been infected by the same strain of hepatitis A so far.
On September 19th, 2017, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health declared an outbreak of Hepatitis-A.
On September 19, 2017, The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) declared a local outbreak of hepatitis A in Los Angeles County (LAC) because of recently identified locally-acquired cases.
Outbreaks are currently ongoing in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties.
The large majority of cases have occurred in persons who are homeless and/or use illicit drugs (injection and non-injection), with several cases also occurring among people who provide services to the homeless.
Hepatitis-A (HAV) FAQ
Q: What is Hepatitis-A?
A: Hepatitis-A is a deadly contagious virus that affects the liver.
Generically, Hepatitis causes an inflammation of the liver and, depending on type (A, B, or C) can be transmitted in several ways, and potentially develop into a chronic disorder.
Unlike Hepatitis-B or C, Hepatitis-A does not develop into a chronic condition and, as with Type-B, can be prevented through inoculation.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus.
It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.
Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests the virus from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.
Q: How is Hepatitis-A Spread?
A: Hepatitis-A begins as an acute viral infection that can be transmitted through the sharing of needles, induced by alcohol abuse, transmitted during sexual encounters, through the consumption of contaminated food, or via the ingestion of infected human feces or vomit, typically due to a lack of proper hand hygiene.
Hepatitis-A is the only foodborne variation of the Hepatitis classification, and the only foodborne virus preventable by inoculation.
It is also the only variation of the Hepatitis classification that remains infectious in human feces.
According to the San Francisco Department of Health;
Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool (feces) of people with HAV infection.
It enters the body through the mouth after someone handles something contaminated with HAV, or eats or drinks something contaminated with HAV.
People usually get hepatitis A by having close contact with a person who is infected, from food or drinks prepared by someone who is infected, or by eating shellfish harvested from sewage-contaminated water.
After the virus enters the body, there is an incubation period lasting 2 to 7 weeks until illness begins.
Q: What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis-A?
A: Symptoms of Hepatitis-A begin to appear, often abruptly and, on average, approximately 28 days after infection, typically manifesting as acute abdominal and bowel issues.
Symptoms typically last approximately two months but continue for as much as six months in 10-15% of cases.
Symptoms do not always appear–children representing the largest demographic of asymptomatic cases.
When present, according to the CDC, symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Abdominal pain.
- Dark urine.
- Clay-colored bowel movements.
- Joint pain, and;
Some persons, particularly young children, are asymptomatic
In children aged <6 years, 70% of infections are asymptomatic; if illness does occur, it is typically not accompanied by jaundice. Among older children and adults, infection is typically symptomatic, with jaundice occurring in >70% of patients.
Green Cleaning Tips
Bleach may not be the best solution for facilities that have not experienced an instance or outbreak of HAV.
Bleach is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Category I disinfectant, which means that it is highly toxic, and can contribute to respiratory issues when aerosolized.
EPA Category IV disinfectants are considered relatively harmless to people, animals, and the environment, and should be considered for school facilities, elderly care, or in workplaces concerned with the toxicity of their cleaning products.
Regardless of disinfectant choice, several cost-effective measures can be taken now to prevent the spread of Hepatitis-A:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom and before eating.
- Thoroughly clean, then disinfect all hard surfaces regularly.
- Clean up any human fecal matter or vomit immediately, then disinfect, ensuring that all protective equipment is worn correctly, then disposed of according to the CDC’s recommendations.
References & Resources
- City washes streets in fight against hepatitis A
- San Diego Is Dousing Its Streets With Bleach to Contain Hepatitis A Outbreak
- San Diego steps up containment battle as hepatitis A outbreak kills 16
- EPA Registered Hard Surface Disinfectants Comparison Chart
Hepatitis-A is a deadly, yet preventable disease.
Implementing the proper precautions, including improved disinfection of restrooms, and recommended hand-hygiene practices now can save lives in the very near future.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of outsourced commercial cleaning services to address the challenges and concerns of recent Hepatitis-A outbreaks, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253