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Hepatitis Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on Hepatitis News & Outbreaks

Indianapolis Teavana Store Patrons at Hepatitis A Risk Urged to Get Vaccines

The Marion County Public Health Department announced that visitors to an Indianapolis business during three Saturdays in April may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

Anyone who visited and drank tea prepared at the Teavana store, 8702 Keystone Crossing, on Saturdays, April 5, 12 and 19 should watch for signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A. The public is advised to watch for signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A and contact a health care provider immediately if any symptoms are present.

Marion County Public Health Department director Dr. Virginia A. Caine says Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that inflames the liver. Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. Thorough hand washing after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food can help lower the risk of getting the virus.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Not everyone infected by the virus will exhibit all of these symptoms. Some people, especially children, may have no symptoms at all. However, all infected persons can transmit the disease to others.

People who visited and drank tea prepared at the store on Saturday, April 5 and Saturday, April 12 are beyond the incubation period of the virus and should watch for signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A. Anyone who visited the store and drank tea on Saturday, April 19 is still within the incubation period and should receive vaccine or immune globulin to prevent the disease. Those age 40 and under should receive Hepatitis A vaccine, while people over the age of 40 should receive immune globulin.

The Marion County Public Health Department will offer vaccine or immune globulin free of charge for individuals who visited the store and drank tea on Saturday, April 19. They should call the health department’s immunization program at 317-221-2122 to find out which district health office they should visit to receive the vaccine or immune globulin free of charge.

Thousands seek Hepatitis A vaccines after exposure at Charlotte Papa John’s

According to Amanda Harris of the Charlotte North Carolina Observer, at least 1,650 Charlotte residents sought hepatitis A vaccines after being exposed at the Papa John’s at 8016 Cambridge Commons Drive, where an employee was recently diagnosed with the virus.
Residents flocked to the clinic at the Cato campus of Central Piedmont Community College on Sunday.  The clinic saw about 350 people over roughly 4 1/2 hours, said Rick Christenbury, a Mecklenburg County spokesman.The Health Department location at 2845 Beatties Ford Road will operate extended hours on Monday to accommodate walk-ins and will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Anyone who ate at the Papa John’s on Cambridge Commons Drive between March 30 and April 7 should get a hepatitis A vaccination, Christenbury said. The vaccine is effective for those exposed within the last 14 days.

Hepatitis A Week: Charlotte, North Carolina Papa John’s and Nyack, New York La Fontana

Charlotte North Carolina: A Papa John’s outlet is to blame for a Hepatitis A scare, according to the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

Anyone who ate food from the location on March 28 and 29 should get the Hepatitis A vaccine immediately.

Officials are looking into a potential Hepatitis A outbreak from the Papa John’s location in the 8000 block of Cambridge Commons in Charlotte, near Harrisburg Road and I-485.

According to the health department, a manager at that restaurant, who recently traveled out of the country, contracted Hepatitis A and may have infected Papa John’s patrons.

Anyone who ate food from that location between March 24 and April 7 may have been exposed. About 2,400 people could have been exposed.

Clinics have been established at the Cabarrus County Health Department and Mecklenburg County Health Department on Beatties Ford Road. They will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. About 5,000 vaccines have been ordered. The vaccine will work within 14 days of exposure and is free.

Nyack New York:  A confirmed case of acute Hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler at the La Fontana restaurant in Nyack. Patrons and other employees may have been exposed to Hepatitis A virus between March 19 and April 1, 2014.

The Health Department will offer free Hepatitis A vaccine to restaurant patrons and employees starting Saturday, April 12 from 11 am – 5 pm, Sunday, April 13 from 11 am to 3 pm and Monday, April 14 from 9 am to 12 pm at the Rockland County Fire Training Center, 35 Firemen’s Memorial Dr. in Pomona.

The Rockland County Department of Health is recommending that all people who ate at the restaurant on March 29, March 30 and April 1, 2014 receive Hepatitis A vaccine. Patrons who ate at the restaurant between March 19 and March 28 will not benefit from vaccination. In order for the vaccine to be most effective, people who have been exposed to Hepatitis A should be vaccinated within 14 days. The earlier the vaccine is given, the more effective it is in preventing the disease. In general, the vaccine is 80% to 90% effective.

Restaurant patrons may also receive vaccine at their medical provider’s office. People who were exposed but have already received two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine sometime in their life do not need another shot; all others should be vaccinated.

28 with Hepatitis A in Norway

A total of 28 cases of hepatitis A infection have been reported over the last few months in Norway, where this disease is said to be rare, local health officials said.

Health authorities, who were worried by the growing number of hepatitis A cases, are working to determine whether the sick people are infected from a common source.

In almost half of the cases, the patients were found to have infected with hepatitis A virus while traveling abroad,

The remaining half got infected in Norway, which was described as a rare occurrence.

Infection of hepatitis A virus can also occur through person to person contact.

Symptoms of hepatitis include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and jaundice.

New Zealand Apples and Peaches Recalled Over Hepatitis A Exposure

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is cautioning New Zealand consumers of a small quantity of fresh fruit sold in late February and early March that there is a relatively low risk that this fruit had been contaminated with Hepatitis A virus.

MPI Deputy Director General Scott Gallacher says it is important that consumers understand the risk of transmission of the virus is relatively low, but MPI is issuing this information as a precaution so that people with any related concerns about their health can contact their doctor.

“As always, MPI is placing the health and wellbeing of all consumers first.

“We have been advised that a person packing some varieties of apples and peaches in a Hawke’s Bay packhouse has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

“This worker handled Royal Gala and New Zealand Beauty apples and Golden Queen peaches over a four day period while they would have been infectious. Hepatitis A virus can remain infectious on the surface of fruit for some months and transmit infection to other handlers and consumers.

Mr Gallacher says while some potentially affected fruit has been traced and withdrawn from sale, it is expected that approximately 1400 cartons have been sold, with fruit either consumed or still in some people’s homes.

Mr Gallacher says all fruit involved in this case was for domestic New Zealand supply and has not been exported.

The fruit concerned was on sale between 27 February and 13 March 2014 at the following outlets.

Royal Gala apples from:

All Countdown supermarkets in the North Island.
The following Christchurch retailers – G Morris and Son, Fresh Connection, United Fresh, Edgeware Supervalue.

Golden Queen peaches from:

All Countdown supermarkets in the North Island.
Pak n Save, New World and Four Square supermarkets from Taupo to Kaitaia.

The following Auckland retailers –  Dahua Supermarket (Albany), Lim Chour (K-Road), Fruit World Pioneer Plaza (Henderson), Manukau Fresh Fruit and Vege, Fresh for Less (Henderson), Save Fruit and Vege Shop (Manukau), Green Field Fruit and Vege (Green Bay), New Lynn Fresh.

Also Fresh World in Hawera.

New Zealand Beauty apples from:

All Countdown, Fresh Choice and Super Value supermarkets in the South Island.

The Ministry recommends people who bought potentially affected fruit between 27 February and 13 March 2014 to either cook the fruit well before eating, or if in doubt, throw it out.

“The possibility of infection is relatively low, but along with the Ministry of Health, we advise anyone who becomes ill with the following symptoms contact their doctor. Look out for skin jaundice (yellowish tinge), yellowing of the whites of eyes, dark coloured urine and pale bowel motions. Early signs of Hepatitis A are fever, loss of appetite, stomach pains and nausea.

Hepatitis A Vaccines Reccomended After Hilton Head Exposure

The Hilton Head Island Packet reports that nearly 300 people might have been exposed to hepatitis A at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks restaurant February 15th, but so far no cases stemming from the exposure have been confirmed.  An employee at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks tested positive for hepatitis A on last Friday, six days after the employee had worked at the restaurant.

Anyone who was at the restaurant from 4 p.m. until closing time February 15th — when the infected employee was working — should contact his or her primary care provider to receive a single-dose vaccine no later than March 1.  The treatment must be administered within 14 days of possible exposure because people usually become sick within 15 to 50 days after being exposed. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, and those infected may also experience joint pain and jaundice.  Most patients recover completely within two months, but symptoms can persist for up to six months in severe cases.  Acute liver failure is a risk.

If hepatitis A vaccines are not available at a primary care provider, customers should call DHEC at 800-868-0404 to schedule an appointment at a local health department.  DHEC clinics in Beaufort County will provide hepatitis A vaccines by appointment this week; vaccines cost $52.30 for people who have health insurance, $25 for those without insurance and $13 for children.

Hudson’s Seafood House Employee with Hepatitis A

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), customers and staff of Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks in Hilton Head Island who were present at the restaurant on the evening of February 15, 2014, are encouraged to contact their primary care provider to receive treatment for possible exposure to the Hepatitis A virus.  On Friday, DHEC was notified that an employee who worked at the restaurant on the evening of February 15 has tested positive for Hepatitis A. The employee is being treated for the infection and has not returned to work.

Exposure to the hepatitis A virus can cause an acute infection of the liver that is typically mild and resolves on its own. The symptoms and duration of illness vary a great deal, with many persons showing no symptoms at all.  Fever and jaundice are two of the symptoms most commonly associated with a hepatitis A infection. Symptoms typically begin about 28 days after contracting hepatitis A, but can begin as early as 15 days or as late as 50 days after exposure. The symptoms include muscle aches, headache, anorexia (loss of appetite), abdominal discomfort, fever, and malaise.  Liver failure and death are rare, but can occur.

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Going to Olympics? Get Hepatitis A Vaccine

Before attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, U.S. health officials recommend travelers ensure their vaccinations are up to date.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said travelers should make sure they are up-to-date on routine vaccines including: the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, the polio vaccine and a seasonal flu shot.

In addition, the CDC recommends getting the hepatitis A vaccine because people can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Russia, regardless of where they are eating or staying.

Hepatitis A Risk Linked to Comstock Saloon

Patrons who visited the Comstock Saloon, a San Francisco restaurant and bar, during several days in December may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus, according to local news station KGO-TV.

An employee tested positive for the virus after working Dec. 12-15, 2013, and again on Dec. 19. That employee was not a food handler, according to the restaurant management.

While health officials say there is little risk of patrons contracting Hepatitis A, anyone who visited the restaurant on those days and has not been vaccinated has been advised to get tested.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A infection may include fatigue, diarrhea, muscle aches, vomiting, fever and jaundice. Those who have been vaccinated for Hepatitis A once in the past are safe from infection.

Contoocook, New Hampshire Hepatitis A Outbreak Mystery

Carrie Williams is healthy again, after suffering from hepatitis A and spending nine days in the hospital.

“I have never felt so ill in my life,” said Williams. “I’ve had double mastectomy surgery, I had my ovaries taken out. And I was more afraid of what was happening to my body with hepatitis A then I was then.”

Williams, 38, and her roommate worked at the Covered Bridge Restaurant in Contoocook, New Hampshire.

Both women somehow contracted hepatitis A, a virus that can attack the liver.

The diagnosis led health officials to hold a news conference alerting restaurant customers of a potential health risk, and the names of who was causing the crisis quickly spread in this small town.

“It scares people, the way it was presented is that if you talk to me you’re going to get hepatitis A,” said Williams.

State health officials set up special vaccination clinics, and urged patrons who had visited the restaurant in late July and early August to get vaccinated. More than 1,200 people did so.