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Hepatitis Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on Hepatitis News & Outbreaks

Imported Sushi Source of Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak

sushiThe Hawaii State Department of Health has ordered all Oahu and Kauai Genki Sushi Restaurants to close for business immediately.  The Department of Health has determined the Hepatitis A outbreak on Oahu is likely due to imported frozen scallops served raw at Genki Sushi Restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. The restaurants have been closed tonight to prevent any further illness and protect the public.

As of Wednesday, the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) has identified 33 new cases of Hepatitis A, bringing the total to 168.

All cases have been adults with 46 requiring hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu.

Eight individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui, and one visitor has returned to the mainland.

Onset of illness has ranged between June 12th to August 1st.

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak: 168 Sick and 46 Hospitalized

As of Wednesday, the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) has identified 33 new cases of Hepatitis A, bringing the total to 168.

All cases have been adults with 46 requiring hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu.

Eight individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui, and one visitor has returned to the mainland.

Onset of illness has ranged between June 12th to August 1st.

There has also been an even wider impact on the businesses that employed some of those ill people.  The following businesses have been linked to those illnesses:

Baskin-Robbins, Oahu, Waikele Center – June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016

Chili’s, Oahu, Kapolei (590 Farrington Highway) – July 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, and 27, 2016

Costco Bakery, Oahu, Hawaii Kai – June 16-20, 2016

Hawaiian Airlines – July 1-26, 2016

Sushi Shiono, Hawaii, Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) – July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21, 2016

Taco Bell, Oahu, Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) – June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016

Tamashiro Market, Oahu, Kalihi (802 N. King Street) – July 2, 4, 6–8, 11–13, 15–19, and 23, 2016

Papa John’s Waipahu, Oahu, Waipahu (94-1021 Waipahu Street) – July 23-24, and Aug. 2, 2016

New Lin Fong bakery, Oahu, Chinatown (1132 Maunakea Street) – July 20, 22-23, 25, 27, 29-30, and Aug. 1, 3, and 5-6, 2016

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 Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.  We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, wo required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

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.

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak By the Numbers: 135 Sick, 39 Hospitalized, 0 Cause

As of August 3, 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health has identified 42 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 39 have required hospitalization.  The total is now 135 with onset of illness ranging between 6/12/16 – 7/24/16.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu.  Seven (7) individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui, and one visitor has returned to the mainland.

The following locations are NOT the source of the outbreak, but ill persons have work there and have expose other people:

  • Baskin-Robbins Oahu Waikele Center – exposure risk: June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016
  • Chili’s Oahu Kapolei (590 Farrington Highway) – exposure risk: July 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, and 27, 2016
  • Costco Bakery Oahu Hawaii Kai – exposure risk: June 16-20, 2016
  • Hawaiian Airlines Flight – exposure risk: July 1-26, 2016
  • Sushi Shiono Hawaii Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) – exposure risk: July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21, 2016
  • Taco Bell Oahu Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) – exposure risk: June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016

93 with Hepatitis A in Hawaii

At least a 93 person hepatitis A outbreak that has left 29 hospitalized as of July 26, 2016.

Ill people have also been located on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai and Maui, but the had been visiting Oahu in the weeks before the onset of their illnesses.

The onset of ill has ranged from June 12, 2016 to July 19, 2016.  Therefore in essence this outbreak is growing and ongoing.

The Health Department has suggested that unvaccinated contacts of cases should talk to their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

A contact is defined as:

  • All unvaccinated household members
  • All unvaccinated sexual contacts
  • Anyone sharing illicit drugs with a case
  • Anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with a case
  • Anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by an infectious food handler with diarrhea or poor hygiene 

Unvaccinated food handlers who are contacts of cases must have a negative hepatitis A IgM test before they return to work. An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does not indicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Baskin-Robins

Sushi Shiono

Taco Bell

Costco

Mystery Hawaiian Hepatitis A Outbreak Sickens 52 and Puts 14 in Hospital

UnknownHHThe Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating a confirmed case of Hepatitis A in a food service employee at the ice cream specialty store, Baskin-Robbins, located at the Waikele Center in Waipahu. The department is advising persons who consumed any food or drink products from this store between June 17 and July 3, 2016 (actual dates: June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3) they may have been exposed to the disease. Unvaccinated individuals should contact their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

This individual is one in a growing number of ill reported to DOH. Since the outbreak began, there have been 52 cases of hepatitis A reported to and now confirmed by DOH. All cases have been in adults on Oahu, 16 have required hospitalization. The department issued a Medical Advisory to all healthcare providers on June 30 urging them to be vigilant and report all suspected hepatitis A infection immediately.

“The source of this outbreak has still not been determined. In the meantime, we encourage all persons consider and talk to their healthcare provider about getting vaccinated,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “This case demonstrates the potential to spread hepatitis A virus to many others who remain susceptible. In an effort to stem the spread of disease, individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A infection should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.”

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes, and typically last several weeks to as long as two months. Treatment of hepatitis A is supportive, and most people will recover without complications.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

Hepatitis A vaccine is readily available at local pharmacies. Two doses of hepatitis A vaccine, given at least six (6) months apart, are needed for lasting protection. For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Hepatitis A Fear in Custer Pizza Works

A case of hepatitis A has been reported in a food handler at the Pizza Works restaurant in Custer. The food handler worked shifts between June 19 and July 5. Individuals who ate at the restaurant during that time period should contact their health care provider to determine if they need a shot of immune globulin which minimizes their chances of becoming ill or if they should be considered for vaccination.

Pizza Works is cooperating with the department on the investigation.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus. The virus can be carried on an infected person’s hands and can be spread by direct contact, or by consuming food or drink that has been handled by the individual.

Symptoms may include fatigue, poor appetite, fever, abdominal discomfort, and vomiting. Urine may become darker, and then jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes) may appear. The disease is rarely fatal and most people recover in a few weeks without any complications. Infants and young children tend to have very mild symptoms and are less likely to develop jaundice than are older children and adults. Not everyone who is infected will have all of the symptoms.

The single most effective way to prevent the spread of hepatitis A is careful hand-washing after using the toilet. Also, infected people should not handle foods during the contagious period, which begins two weeks before symptoms appear and extends a few days after jaundice appears.

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak a Mystery

AP reports that the Hawaii State Department of Health says an Oahu outbreak of hepatitis A has grown to 31 confirmed cases.

The department says staff members worked through the holiday weekend to interview infected patients in an effort to find the cause of the infection.

State Epidemiologist Sarah Park says identifying the cause is difficult. She says accurately recalling all of the food consumed and locations visited during the infection period is challenging, especially for those who are still feeling ill.

Health officials say the virus can be spread by eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water, close personal contact or sex. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, appetite loss, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.

The department said last week there were at least 12 cases of hepatitis A on Oahu.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Hits Oahu

The Health Department is eying poke as one of dozens of possible culprits, but health officials stressed the investigation remains preliminary.

AP reports that the state Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A on Oahu.

The department said Friday there are at least 12 cases of hepatitis A infection in adults. Six of them have required hospitalization.

Onsets of the illnesses range from June 16 through June 27.

Health officials say the virus can be spread by eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water, close personal contact or sex. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, appetite loss, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.

Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler says it’s a vaccine-preventable disease. She says that while it’s a routine childhood vaccination, many adults haven’t been vaccinated and remain susceptible.

The vaccine is readily available at local pharmacies.

Hepatitis A Linked to Costco

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Hepatitis A infections in three provinces linked to the frozen fruit product: Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a food recall warning advising Canadians of the recall of the frozen fruit product that has been distributed in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Public Health Agency of Canada advises Canadians not to consume the frozen fruit product Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend sold exclusively at Costco warehouse locations in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The overall risk to Canadians is low. Hepatitis A is a disease that can cause inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. You can get the Hepatitis A virus by eating contaminated food or water or through contact with an infected person’s stool. Adequate vaccination can protect against the Hepatitis A virus.

Currently, there are 12 cases of Hepatitis A in three provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (9), Quebec (2), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick in February and March of this year. Some of the individuals who became ill have reported eating the recalled product. The majority of cases (58%) are male, with an average age of 37 years. Three cases have been hospitalized.

Sandy Cinema Patrons Urged to get Hepatitis A Treatment

Clackamas County Public Health officials are investigating an incident of potential exposure to Hepatitis A at a Sandy movie theater.

People who attended the Sandy Cinema, at 16605 Champion Way in Sandy, and ate or drank from the concession stand during certain days and hours earlier this month may have been exposed.

The specific days and hours in question are:

  • Feb. 12: 11 a.m. to closing
  • Feb. 13: 6 p.m. to closing
  • Feb. 14: 2 p.m. to closing
  • Feb. 15: 1:30 p.m. to closing

Clackamas County Public Health is advising people who may have been exposed to check their immunization status, and if they have not been immunized against Hepatitis A, to obtain medication that can decrease their chances of becoming ill. These are effective for up to two weeks after exposure.

The medication should not be given if more than two weeks have passed.

  • Those individuals aged 1 to 40, who have not previously received the Hepatitis A vaccine, are recommended to get a single dose of the vaccine. Twinrix (which is a combination Hepatitis A and B vaccine) is not appropriate for this purpose.
  • For those individuals less than 12 months old or over 40, vaccine is not approved. They are recommended to receive immune globulin shots.

Clackamas County Public Health also has established a call-in line to provide information. The call-in number is 503-742-5320. The call center will be active through 7 p.m. tonight and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Clackamas County is updating inventories in the region to assure there is adequate supply. For questions about where to find vaccine please contact the call center.

Medications will also be made available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 23 through Feb. 25 at Legacy Medical Group Firwood, 36860 Industrial Way, Sandy, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

The Hepatitis A case was first reported to Clackamas County Public Health late on February 17.

Public Health officials said theater owners have been fully cooperative and stressed that the risk to the public is extremely low and there is no continued risk to the public.

“This recommendation for treatment doesn’t apply to people who ate at Sandy Cinema on other days,” said Dr. Sarah Present, Clackamas County Public Health Officer. ”We know the likelihood of infection is low but we are recommending vaccinations for exposed persons because the risk is not zero and there are effective medications that can further decrease the risk of illness.”

Hepatitis A is a viral disease of the liver that is contagious. It is spread from person to person, often by inadequate handwashing after using the toilet or changing diapers, or eating food prepared by an infected person.

Typical symptoms include fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or jaundice (a yellowing of the skin or eyes). Some infections may be mild but it can develop into severe liver disease. Symptoms usually develop 3-4 weeks after exposure but it may be up to 50 days.

For more information, go to the Clackamas County Public Health Division web page at: www.clackamas.us/publichealth/