How the homeless are suffering from little sanitation

How the homeless are suffering from little sanitation

It all seemed to have started in Utah, but what has been recently labeled as a Hepatitis A outbreak has spread across multiple states around the United States.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune Article “What you should know about Utah’s hepatitis A outbreak and recent restaurant exposures,” the three states that have been suffering from hepatitis A outbreaks recently (Utah, California, and Michigan) all had hepatitis A outbreaks with the homeless, but also with restaurant scares like the ones that have been in Utah news this month at two 7-Eleven locations.

Since there are too many possible situations with the sick 7-Eleven employee, perhaps looking at the situation with the homeless would be helpful.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis A can spread when someone is exposed to the virus through feces and can survive outside the body for months.

In California and other states, the homeless don’t have the best living conditions, to the point where they do their business on the streets because they don’t have access water or cheap health care (the Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City is a notable exception in Utah.) These people then touch doorknobs and other objects that other people come in contact with. Additionally, since the homeless are crowded with each other in shelters and free clinics as well, they have a higher rate of illness and communicable diseases, according to the overview of Homelessness for Global Issues in Context.

The problem of having enough resources for the homeless may not be an easy problem considering the national debt is currently over $20 trillion. In other words, the government may not be in the best situation to be generous with the homeless. However, in the communities we live in, we can try to help out the homeless. We can give them food and try to provide some sort of sanitation for them, like a man in the Real Change article “One’s man quest to provide sanitation to homeless people is just a drop in the bucket.”

Students may not have all the free time in the world, but if they can try to help the homeless get back on their feet, they will be contributing to a great cause.