LOS ANGELES (CNS) — In response to an outbreak of hepatitis A, the Los Angeles City Council moved forward Tuesday, March 6, with a plan to offer vaccinations against the disease to city employees who come into regular contact with homeless people.

A motion approved on a 12-0 vote directs the city’s Personnel Department to report on which classifications of municipal employees should be vaccinated against hepatitis A, and notes that the disease poses a significant health risk to the homeless and those who come into regular contact with them, including those who work in the police and fire departments.

Los Angeles County health officials declared an official outbreak of hepatitis A last September after cases of the disease spiked in Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Cruz.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease that can spread easily through homeless populations because it thrives in unsanitary conditions and is primarily spread through contact with feces via surfaces or sexual contact.

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