El Cajon working to prevent a Hepatitis A outbreak there - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

El Cajon working to prevent a Hepatitis A outbreak there

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EL CAJON (NEWS 8) — The City of El Cajon is taking steps to stop Hepatitis A from spreading as San Diego is battling an outbreak. 

From hand-washing stations to power washing the sidewalks, a more aggressive approach is being taken to protect the community. 

"Whatever we can do to eradicate the situation is the best thing we can do," said one resident. 

Hep A attacks the liver and is highly contagious.  

So far 16 people have died. 

Now officials in the East County say they are coming out in full force - bleaching down and blasting benches and sidewalks at Wells Park. 

Even the Mayor of El Cajon rolled up his sleeves to get vaccinated.  

"You know what? It's really important," said Mayor Bill Wells. "People that get Hep A get very, very sick. If you can avoid that by having quick vaccination - it takes 5 minutes." 

With free Hep A vaccination clinics some, like Karen Berroth, aren't taking any chances. 

"I'm here just to be proactive about my healthcare [and] get the Hep A shot like everybody else in El Cajon," said Berroth.  

She is among many who feel being proactive is the best way to manage not getting it. 

"Homeless are everywhere," said Berroth. "They are swimming in our pool. We catch them bathing in our swimming pools -  I'm sure you can catch it that way."  

Hepatitis A is rare in places with good sanitation, but spreads like wildfire anywhere else.  

San Diego's problem stems from a dense population of homeless people and no public restrooms. 

"Handwashing is a big thing and because of that we are putting handwashing stations throughout the city," said Mayor Wells.  

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