What is the problem that needs to be addressed? Please describe how it is related to mental health.
Sanitation. People experiencing mental illness have decreased access to sanitation services that may include: trash pickup, hand-washing, and toileting/rest-rooming. These are major vectors for spreading disease via fecal-oral routes. As people who experience mental illness also experience downward drift into homelessness – access to sanitation is severely restricted and inconvenient.
Why is this a concern for Orange County? What can Orange County and other counties learn from this project?
Orange County previously attempted addressing fecal-oral disease transmission by outlawing food ingestion. While a valid method to halting the fecal-oral disease vector, it has the nasty side effect of starving homeless/mentally ill people to death. The outcome measure implied was not tied to life expectancy, but instead cases of morbidity/mortality associated with Hepatitis A. There are many other fecal-oral vector diseases that include: Cholera C. diff Shigella Salmonella E. Coli Campylobacter Hepatitis A Hepatitis E Enteroviruses – associated with the Acute Flaccid Myelitis outbreaks in recent time Noroviruses Poliovirus – associated with paralysis similar to Acute Flaccid Myelitis Rotavirus Amoebas Giardia Cryptosporidium Toxoplasmosa – associated with TORCHES birth defects Tape Worms Ascariasas Addressing the fecal-oral vector with the traditional intervention of hand washing is more cost effective than administering vaccinations for each of the above diseases (many don’t have a vaccination).
What is currently being done to resolve this problem in our county and throughout the United States? If applicable: Is it working; why or why not?
Right now, the fecal-oral disease vector is not controlled with numerous reports of Hepatitis A, E-Coli, Acute Flaccid myelitis (polio like disease in children), and others. A valid hypothesis is that hand-washing is not intact in the food supply chain as current events report no point-source of disease outbreaks.
What is new or different about this project idea? Please describe how this differs from what is already being done (Question 6). Please list any research that was done on this topic.
While hand-washing is not new, access to hand-washing is severely restricted in most of Orange County. Business and public sinks tend to be behind locked or security coded doors. Locations that use a key lock are especially disgusting as that key is itself a vector for fecal-oral disease.
What is the project idea? Please describe how this project will operate.
Adding to building code or other incentives for real estate development to add publicly accessible sinks, soap, water and hand drying apparatus. Examples of businesses that have successfully implemented this policy are the Pacific City real estate development in Huntington Beach – sinks are open to everyone without any locks/security devices. Tokyo Central in Yorba Linda also has open access sinks/soap/hand drying. These locations are designed to reduce the fecal oral disease vector. Halt use of keys as a security measure to bathrooms as they are itself a vector for fecal-oral disease.
The Centers for Disease Control (https://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/index.html) cite handwashing as “one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.”