LOS ANGELES (AP) -- With thousands of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators roughing it in parks for up to six weeks, garbage, human waste and hygiene are becoming a growing worry in public encampments nationwide.
Poor food storage has exacerbated a rat infestation in Oakland. Inspectors are finding open human waste in Philadelphia. And some protesters in Denver were treated for hypothermia after a snowstorm hit.
Disease is the chief concern with so many people living in close proximity without proper sanitation, but so far, no outbreaks of illness have been reported from the grassroots demonstrations
Some demonstrators say the health issues are being exaggerated as a pretext to crack down on the camps that have mushroomed nationwide. They say authorities never seemed to be concerned about unhygienic conditions that existed before.