Seattle infectious-disease outbreaks cause concern

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SEATTLE (AP) — Public health officials are becoming increasingly concerned about a variety of outbreaks of serious infectious diseases among people who are homeless in Seattle and throughout King County.

The Seattle Times reports Seattle-King County Public Health is investigating outbreaks of Group A Streptococcus, shigella, and a rare group of infections transmitted by body lice among people who are homeless.

Health officials also are monitoring a potential outbreak of hepatitis A, a potentially fatal disease that spread in San Diego.

The county board of health passed a resolution Thursday urging more sanitation and hygiene services for unsheltered homeless people.

At the meeting, Seattle officials described efforts to increase toilets, hot water and hand-washing stations at the city’s six sanctioned encampments, and to bring hand-washing kits to the city’s many unsanctioned camps.

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