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Oakland County Health Division reports eight new cases of Hepatitis A in the last week associated primarily with the Farmington Hills area. The Health Division has not yet identified a source, but is investigating potential common factors such as contaminated food, sick individuals, travel, and healthcare exposure.

“These new cases serve as a vital reminder of why it is critical to get vaccinated,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “The Health Division urges all residents, food handlers, and healthcare providers to get the Hepatitis A vaccine and to wash hands thoroughly. Ill food workers and health care workers are encouraged to stay home from work, seek medical attention, and report their illness to their employer.”

Dr. Pamela Hackert, medical director for Oakland County Health Division said, “The virus is shed in feces and is most commonly spread from person to person by contaminated hands. In addition to vaccination, good hygiene, proper sanitation of surfaces, and proper food preparation are keys in preventing this contagious disease.”

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus and is a vaccine-preventable disease. Symptoms of Hepatitis A include sudden abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, and vomiting followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes. Symptoms may appear from two to six weeks after exposure, with the average time being about one month. In rare cases, those with a pre-existing severe illness or a compromised immune system can progress to liver failure. Individuals are advised to contact their doctor if they have a sudden onset of any symptoms.

To reduce the risk of contracting Hepatitis A:

  • Wash hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing and eating food. Rub hands vigorously with soap and warm running water for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing is essential and one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Clean and disinfect all surface areas if someone in the household or workplace has symptoms, especially areas such as toilets, sinks, trashcans, doorknobs and faucet handles.
  • Do not prepare food if you have symptoms and refrain from food preparation for at least three days
  • after symptoms have ended, or two weeks after onset of clinical symptoms, whichever is longer.
  • Get the Hepatitis A vaccine.

The Hepatitis A vaccine is available through some health providers, CVS Minute Clinics, Oakland County Health Division offices in Southfield and Pontiac, and many pharmacies. Call ahead to ensure your health care provider or pharmacy has the vaccine available.

Health Division offices are located at the following addresses:

  • North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
  • South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield

Payment options include cash and credit card. There is a $5 fee per visit, per client as well as additional fees for credit card payments. Vaccine fees are charged to individuals who are not eligible for federal and/or state programs that cover vaccination costs. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program offers vaccines at no cost for eligible children up to 18-years-old. If you have insurance, check with your health care/insurance provider for possible benefit coverage. No one will be denied access to services due to inability to pay. A discounted/sliding fee schedule is available.

For more information about Hepatitis A, visit www.oakgov.com/health or call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

From August 1, 2016 to March 21, 2017, 107 cases of lab-confirmed hepatitis A have been reported to public health authorities in these jurisdictions. This represents an eightfold increase during the same time last year. Ages of the cases range from 22 to 86 years, with an average age of 45 years. The majority of the cases have been male. Eighty-five percent of the cases have been hospitalized with two deaths reported.  Approximately one-third of the cases have a history of substance abuse, and 16 percent of all cases are co-infected with hepatitis C. No common sources of infection have been identified.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease. While the hepatitis A vaccine is recommended as part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule, most adults have not been vaccinated and may be susceptible to the hepatitis A virus.

Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for:

  • All children at age 1 year
  • Close personal contacts (e.g., household, sexual) of hepatitis A patients
  • Users of injection and non-injection illegal drugs
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Persons with chronic liver disease have an elevated risk of death from liver failure
  • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
  • Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
  • Family members or caregivers of a recent adoptee from countries where hepatitis A is common

Individuals with hepatitis A are infectious for 2 weeks prior to symptom onset. Symptoms of hepatitis A include jaundice (yellowing of the skin), fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and light-colored stools. Symptoms usually appear over a number of days and last less than 2 months; however, some people can be ill for as long as 6 months. Hepatitis A can sometimes cause liver failure and death.

Risk factors for a hepatitis A infection include living with someone who has hepatitis A, having sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A, or sharing injection or non-injection illegal drugs with someone who has hepatitis A. The hepatitis A virus can also be transmitted through contaminated food or water.

333 ill, 11 deaths with 232 hospitalized.

Since early 2017, the Public Health Services Division, in the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, has been investigating a local Hepatitis A outbreak. The majority of people who have contracted hepatitis A are homeless and/or illicit drug users, although some cases have been neither.  The outbreak is being spread person-to-person and through contact with a fecally contaminated environment.  No common sources of food, beverage or drugs have been identified that have contributed to this outbreak, though investigation is ongoing.  

Vaccination efforts are being implemented in targeted locations by County staff and in collaboration with health care partners. Health providers are asked to inform the Epidemiology Program if they have a patient suspected to have the hepatitis A infection, before the patient leaves the emergency department or provider’s office.

In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County, CA, the number of cases reported this year has climbed to 312, including 10 fatalities, according to latest health department data.

Of the cases, nearly seven out of 10 patients required hospitalization for their illness (215).

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency says the investigation into the outbreak is ongoing.

It has been challenging because of the long incubation period of the disease (15 to 50 days) and the difficulty experienced to contact many individuals sickened with the illness who are homeless and/or illicit drug users. To date, no common source of food, beverage, or other cause has been identified; as a result, the source of the outbreak remains undetermined.

According to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, 228 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in 2017, with 161 people hospitalized during the outbreak.  There have been 5 deaths. Public health investigators continue to evaluate cases, but most of those who have become ill are either homeless and/or illicit drug users. Hepatitis A is most commonly spread person-to-person through the fecal-oral route. The disease can be prevented by getting vaccinated. So far, officials said no common food, drink or drug source has been identified as the cause.

In addition, the number of hepatitis A cases over last year in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair counties has increased tenfold, spawning a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services investigation. 190 cases have been reported between August 1, 2016 and June 26, 2017, which has resulted in 10 deaths so far. Officials said it represents a significant health threat, with links to either illicit drug use, sexual activity or close contact among household members.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light-colored stools. Symptoms usually appear over several days and last less than two months. However, some people can be ill for as long as six months. Hepatitis A can also sometimes cause liver failure and death.

Dr. Sherlita Amler, Westchester County’s Health Commissioner, is encouraging people who consumed beverages at Monteverde at Oldstone, a restaurant and event space at 28 Bear Mountain Bridge Road in Cortlandt Manor, to protect themselves against Hepatitis A following confirmation that an employee with the disease worked at the restaurant while infectious.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease transmitted by ingesting contaminated food or water or through direct contact with an infectious person. “The key to prevention is a quick response,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino.

Patrons who consumed beverages at Monteverde between May 31 and June 10 are being urged to contact the Westchester County Health Department, which will offer free Hepatitis A treatment on Thursday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Monteverde at Oldstone and on Friday, June 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Westchester County Health Department clinic at 134 Court Street in White Plains.

No appointments are needed, but individuals interested in attending a clinic are encouraged to pre-register online or call the Health Department at (914) 995-7499.

The Health Department has been contacting all individuals who dined at Monteverde between May 31 and June 10 to alert them to their potential exposure.  The treatment is a Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin. Anyone age 18 or younger must be accompanied by a parent. Pregnant women who may have been exposed should contact their prenatal care provider about treatment. Preventive treatment is only effective if given within two weeks of potential exposure.

Hepatitis A is generally a mild illness that affects the liver. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, poor appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine and yellowing of the skin and eyes, and can develop from two weeks to two months after exposure

“Anyone who believes they may have symptoms of Hepatitis A should consult with their regular physician, inform their physician of the potential exposure and notify the Westchester County Department of Health,” Dr. Amler said.

As soon as the Health Department learned where the employee worked, its staff began a comprehensive investigation, with the full cooperation of the owner and in consultation with the New York State Department of Health.

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has been notified of imported frozen raw tuna or ahi cubes distributed by Tropic Fish Hawaii, LLC on Oahu that tested positive for hepatitis A.

The product, imported from Indonesia, was used to prepare poke sold between April 27 and May 1 by food establishments on Oahu.

The Department of Health says Tropic Fish Hawaii discovered 200 tainted 15-pound cases of frozen ahi cubes; 140 of those cases were recovered and never got sold.

The imported frozen fish was used to prepare poke or food served or sold at:

  • Times Supermarket and Shima’s
    • Aiea
    • Kailua
    • Kaneohe
    • Kunia
    • Liliha
    • Mililani
    • Waipahu
    • Waimanalo
  • GP Hawaiian Food Catering
  • Crab Shack Kapolei (also known as Maile Sunset Bar & Grill in Kapolei)

cup-and-saucer-cafeJim Ryan of the Oregonian reported tonight that Multnomah County health officials are investigating two hepatitis A cases among workers at a pair of Portland Cup & Saucer Cafes.

The first of the cases was reported to the county health department on March 20, and the other was reported Monday, said county spokeswoman Julie Sullivan-Springhetti. Officials advise people who patronized the cafes on specific dates in late March to contact their health care provider “because of possible transmission at the restaurant,” she said.

Sullivan-Springhetti said people who ate or drank at the cafe at 8237 North Denver St. from March 22 to March 29 should get in touch with their health care provider to see whether they need to get a vaccination or get other preventative care. People who did the same at the 3566 Southeast Hawthorne Blvd. cafe on March 22 or March 25 should also contact their health care provider, she said.

And anyone who ate or drank at the North Portland cafe between Feb. 22 and March 21 should ask their health care provider whether they have hepatitis A symptoms, Sullivan-Springhetti said in a news release.

“We consider the risk to be relatively low,” Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County deputy health officer, said in a statement. “But there are vaccines that can lower the risk of illness if given within two weeks of possible exposure.”

Public health officials and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are continuing to see an elevated number of hepatitis A cases in the city of Detroit, and counties of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne.

“Together with our local health partners, we are increasing outreach to vulnerable populations to raise awareness and promote vaccination of hepatitis A,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of MDHHS. “Those who live, work, or play in the city of Detroit, as well as Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties are urged to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and talk to their healthcare provider about their risks.”

From August 1, 2016 to March 21, 2017, 107 cases of lab-confirmed hepatitis A have been reported to public health authorities in these jurisdictions. This represents an eightfold increase during the same time last year. Ages of the cases range from 22 to 86 years, with an average age of 45 years. The majority of the cases have been male. Eighty-five percent of the cases have been hospitalized with two deaths reported.  Approximately one-third of the cases have a history of substance abuse, and 16 percent of all cases are co-infected with hepatitis C. No common sources of infection have been identified.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease. While the hepatitis A vaccine is recommended as part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule, most adults have not been vaccinated and may be susceptible to the hepatitis A virus.

Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for:

  • All children at age 1 year
  • Close personal contacts (e.g., household, sexual) of hepatitis A patients
  • Users of injection and non-injection illegal drugs
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Persons with chronic liver disease have an elevated risk of death from liver failure
  • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
  • Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
  • Family members or caregivers of a recent adoptee from countries where hepatitis A is common

Individuals with hepatitis A are infectious for 2 weeks prior to symptom onset. Symptoms of hepatitis A include jaundice (yellowing of the skin), fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and light-colored stools. Symptoms usually appear over a number of days and last less than 2 months; however, some people can be ill for as long as 6 months. Hepatitis A can sometimes cause liver failure and death.

Risk factors for a hepatitis A infection include living with someone who has hepatitis A, having sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A, or sharing injection or non-injection illegal drugs with someone who has hepatitis A. The hepatitis A virus can also be transmitted through contaminated food or water.

MDHHS encourages residents in the city of Detroit and Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties to check their hepatitis A vaccination status and talk to their healthcare provider about their risks for hepatitis A.

A clinical case of Hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler at the Dairy Queen establishment in Clearwater located at 318 Eden Rd.

While Hepatitis A is uncommon in Interior Health, it is believed there is a low but definite risk to persons who ate food at this restaurant during the period this food handler was infectious.

To date, there have been no additional reported cases and Interior Health is taking immediate steps to ensure the safety of all staff and customers. Persons who consumed any foods or beverages from this Dairy Queen location during the following dates and times may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

  Thursday, Dec. 8
  Friday, Dec. 9
  Saturday, Dec. 10
  Sunday, Dec. 11
  Thursday, Dec. 15
  Friday, Dec. 16
  Saturday, Dec. 17
  Sunday, Dec. 18

4 p.m. – 9 p.m. 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Hepatitis A is a disease that affects the liver and is caused by the Hepatitis A virus. The virus is found in the bowel movements (stool) of infected people. It can be spread through close personal contact or through contaminated food that has been handled by an infected person. The virus can get under nails and, despite thorough hand washing, can still contaminate food.

Symptoms usually develop 15 to 50 days after exposure and include nausea, abdominal cramps, fever, dark urine, and/or yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Illness can be more severe in adults over 50 years of age or those with chronic liver disease. Illness can last for several weeks and people generally recover completely. If you have symptoms, stay home from school and/or work. Frequent hand washing, especially after using the toilet and before handling food, remains the most effective way to avoid the spread of Hepatitis A infections.

Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent Hepatitis disease, but only if given within 14 days of exposure.

“We are advising anyone who may have been exposed to take the precaution of getting immunized,” said Dr. Sue Pollock, Medical Health Officer, Interior Health. “Hepatitis A is a serious infection and immunization is a proven and safe means of preventing illness.”

Interior Health will be providing vaccination clinics in Clearwater and Kamloops on the following dates. Please bring your immunization records with you to the clinic, if possible.

Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital in Clearwater:

  Friday, Dec. 23, 1-3 p.m.
  Saturday, Dec. 24 9 a.m. – noon
  Monday, Dec. 26, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  Tuesday, Dec. 27, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Public Health Unit in Kamloops, 519 Columbia St.:

  Friday, Dec. 23, 1-3 p.m.
  Saturday, Dec. 24, 9 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Outside these clinic dates and until Wednesday Dec. 28, individuals may obtain vaccine at the Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital emergency department in Clearwater or at the Royal Inland Hospital emergency department in Kamloops. After Dec. 28, please contact your local public health unit to access vaccine. Individuals living outside of Clearwater and Kamloops should also contact their local public health unit for information on where to access vaccine in their region. If your exposure was more than 14 days ago, then vaccine will not be effective. Watch for signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A and, if these signs/symptoms occur, please see your family physician for testing.

If you have had Hepatitis A infection in the past or have had two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine, then you are not at risk of infection.

In its weekly update Wednesday, the Hawaii Department of Health reported no new confirmed cases from Nov. 3 through 9. It recorded one new case the previous week, bringing the total number of sick people to 292. About a fourth of the outbreak victims have had symptoms so severe that they required hospitalization. At least one death, a 68-year-old woman, is attributed to the outbreak that was traced to frozen scallops imported from the Philippines and served raw by the Genki Sushi fast food chain. Another outbreak victim died, but was terminally ill and in hospice care so health officials are not attributing that death to Hepatitis A. All but 18 of the victims have been residents of Oahu. Seven victims are visitors who have returned to the mainland or overseas. Eleven outbreak victims live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai or Maui. Only Genki Sushi locations on Oahu and Kauai served the implicated scallops.