The recent epidemic of Hepatitis-A which broke out in California resulted in a large number of people being affected by it. As is known, Hepatitis-A is highly contagious. Although it is known to spread mainly through contaminated food, it can spread through other means as well. The recent Hepatitis-A outbreak in California was one such instance where Hepatitis-A was getting transmitted directly from one person to another instead of via other means.
Hepatitis-A is a disease which needs to be nipped in the bud or else it outgrows and results in an epidemic. There needs to be proper measures taken to ensure that such a condition never occurs again. Speaking of the recent Hepatitis-A outbreak in California, the following few facts have come to light. These could have been avoided with a little care and some extra precaution from the civilians’ as well as the officials’ part.
The effects of the break out:
The main target of this infection were the homeless and the drug addicts. As is known by all, drug users are at the highest risk since they use needles and syringes which may be contaminated. The homeless have no access to proper sanitation and lifestyle and hence end up falling prey to this deadly disease. This has resulted in tremendous chaos all over the state due to which an SOS emergency had to be declared.
The outbreak was so severe that no vaccinations or precautionary measures were able to bring it under control. Limited access to hygiene and sanitation are also one of the leading causes of the Hepatitis-A outbreak in California. Installing portable hand-washing stations and distribution of vaccines and other precautionary measures did not do much to benefit the situation. The most basic and the most effective form of prevention of this contagious disease is sanitation, which also proved to be futile in this sudden outbreak.
Steps taken to diffuse the emergency:
The steps taken to eradicate the problem included getting rid of any hazardous materials that may become the cause of the disease. Human waste, garbage and contaminated needles were taken care of and properly disposed so that civilians are not exposed to them. Also, the area was then bleached an cleansed thoroughly in order to kill any micro-organisms or viruses that may carry the illness. However, these measures did next to nothing to improve the condition of the state.
Officials went around bleaching, cleansing and sanitizing the streets with the proper required materials. They did so to address the issue at its root and prevent the situation from escalating further. This can be the best measure the citizens, as a whole, can undertake to prevent such an outbreak from happening again.
Aftermath of the break out:
U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been known to call on to the federal government to seek help to counter this issue which seemed to be going out of hand. Given the figures, a considerable number of people fell ill and lost their lives during this outbreak. It was a wise decision by the government to provide help in terms of finance and other means to eradicate this issue.
The number of people reported to have fallen ill during this emergency declaration are more than thrice the total number of cases reported in the entire year of 2015. The Hepatitis-A outbreak was much severe and long lasting than any other. There needs to be proper precautionary measures to be taken to ensure that such a situation never arises again. People need to understand the importance of hygiene and basic cleanliness. Also, infected people should make it a point to keep away from others lest the latter fall ill too.