Waste borne illness running amok among Portland homeless

Oregon’s unaddressed homeless crisis has brought with it a spike in a highly contagious waste-borne illness associated with a number of deviant behaviors.

(Video: KGW-TV)

Leftist policies have continually been shown to facilitate and exacerbate public health crises, and the increased circulation of bacterial infection in Portland, Oregon is no different. With life on the street in Rose City “a piece of cake,” the homeless are now at increased risk of a Shigella bacterial infection spread through fecal matter.

In late December, Multnomah County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Teresa Everson spoke with KGW-TV and said of the surge in infections, “These cases can occur because bathrooms, hand-washing sinks and soap can be hard to access when you aren’t housed. And unhoused community members are at higher risk of infectious disease in general, as they experience poorer health than the broader public.”

More recently, she told Fox News Digital, “While we are currently seeing an increase in Shigella cases in the Portland metro area, the risk to the broader public remains low at this time and there are no measures for most folks to take at this time. The best thing we can all do to prevent both respiratory viral illness and diarrheal illness is to keep practicing good hand hygiene.”

According to data from the county, there were 227 cases of shigellosis by the end of 2023 with 45 of them being reported in December. By comparison, there were 150 in 2022 and only 98 in 2021 throughout Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

Rampant public defecation was called out as one of the main factors in spreading the illness that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states can cause diarrhea, fever, stomach pain and “feeling the need to pass stool (poop) even when the bowels are empty” usually for five to seven days.

Posting an image from the streets of Portland, one social media user wrote, “Example of why we’re having a shigella outbreak in portland: This person just pulled over in a vehicle with no plates and used the street as a toilet. I wasn’t going to photograph it, but the guy I was talking to said people should see it. So here you go.”

Additionally, much like the concern health officials put on stigma over curbing the spread of Monkeypox, homosexual male relations were glossed over by Everson as one of the lead contributing factors in the spread of Shigella.

She told KGW-TV, “We would like people to not feel anxious in general unless they are in one of the specific populations. We have not seen cases of folks in the general public who have acquired infection that we can’t explain. Most of the cases that we are seeing are associated with sexual activity, and some with travel. So we do not have any cases that would point us to a risk to the general public.”

Just over a year earlier, it had been reported that a homeless woman had told social service worker Kevin Dahlgren that living on the streets of Portland is “a piece of cake…you get three meals a day and don’t have to do sh*t…wake up, eat, get high, wake up, eat, get high, repeat.”

Similarly, rather than admit those with the illness to hospitals where they could be quarantined to prevent further spread of the illness, Fox News reported that Multnomah County has provided temporary housing in hotels and motels for those infected and that no one is required to isolate themselves.

Local hotel owner Jessie Burke also focused on stigma as she told KGW-TV, “We just want to assure everyone that everything is fine. There is no reason to avoid this area. And these things affect all of the micro economy stuff, so being thoughtful when delivering those messages.”

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Oregon was found to have the second-highest percentage of homeless people in 2023, estimated at over 20,000.

Kevin Haggerty

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