Father Joe's Villages does its part to combat hepatitis A outbre - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Father Joe's Villages does its part to combat hepatitis A outbreak

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - A local non-profit is aiming to keep the public aware of the urgent efforts and the all the steps the county has taken to contain further infections.

Father Joe's Villages said that there is no evidence any of its visitors have actually contracted hepatitis A there, but officials confirmed that some of the homeless who live and eat there do have it.

In fact, at least one of the 16 who have died since the outbreak started was a frequent visitor who happened to be Father Joe’s Medical Director Dr. Jeffery Norris’ patient.

“A guy who had a lot of medical issues, wasn’t well to begin with,” Dr. Norris said of his patient. “But that experience, for me, really brought home that this is an outbreak that’s killing people.”

Countywide, nearly 450 people have been infected, the majority of them homeless, so Father Joe's has ramped up efforts to help combat the problem.

Hand washing stations were installed around the facility and educational signs have been posted in the area with information on how the disease is spread and how you can avoid it.

Village staff is also cleaning the bathrooms more often, and free vaccines are being offered four times per week to anyone who comes into the on-site clinic.

County health officials are visiting Father Joe’s on a frequent basis to make sure that extra precautions are being taken and protocol is being followed.

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