NBC Bay Area: Diseased Streets


February 20, 2018

Lee Riley, a professor in the School of Public Health and a leading expert in infectious diseases, was featured in an NBC Bay Area news story that investigated the dangers of discarded needles, feces and garbage littering San Francisco streets.

The team surveyed 153 blocks in San Francisco over the course of three days, finding “heaps of garbage, food, and discarded junk … 100 drug needles and more than 300 piles of feces throughout downtown.”

After looking at the findings from the news team, Riley—who has researched health issues in some of the poorest areas of the world—told the news team that some of the streets in San Francisco mirrored those in developing countries. “If you do get stuck with these disposed needles you can get HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and a variety of other viral diseases,” Riley said.

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