The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is investigating a case of hepatitis A in a De Soto County restaurant employee which may have led to possible exposure for customers.

An employee of Papa John’s Pizza in Horn Lake, 906 Goodman Road, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A infection. While infectious, the employee worked at the restaurant from January 28 – February 11, 2020. Customers who ate at the restaurant or received a pizza delivery on those days may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Vaccination can prevent hepatitis A only if given within 14 days of exposure. Because those who ate at the restaurant (or received a pizza delivery) between January 28th and February 5th would have been exposed more than 14 days ago, they should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill. Those who ate at the restaurant or had pizza delivered from February 6th to February 11th should get a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not been previously vaccinated.

Those who think they may have been exposed to this case can receive a hepatitis A vaccination free of charge from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 20th and Friday, February 21st at the De Soto County Health Department, 8705 Northwest Drive, Building A, Suite 1 in Southaven.

“The risk of transmission of hepatitis A in this situation is likely very low. However, as a precaution, we recommend that anyone who ate food from this restaurant between February 6th and February 11th should consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not done so already. And again, those who may have been exposed between January 28th and February 5th should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

“The management and staff of the Papa John’s are fully cooperating with MSDH to prevent illnesses as a result of this exposure,” said Byers.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that causes fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), abdominal pain and dark colored urine. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool (feces) from an infected person. If you think you have symptoms of hepatitis A, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Everyone can prevent the spread of hepatitis A by carefully washing hands with soap and water, including under the fingernails, after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.

As a reminder, there is an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Mississippi and surrounding states affecting those who use drugs, those who are in jail or were recently in jail, those with unstable housing or who are homeless, and men who have sex with men. The MSDH continues to recommend hepatitis A vaccination for those specific groups as well.

The Mississippi State Department of Health is investigating a case of hepatitis A in a Warren County restaurant.
An employee of the Gumbo Pot on Halls Ferry Road in Vicksburg was diagnosed with the infection.

The employee worked at the restaurant on January 17, 18 and 22. Customers who ate at the restaurant on those days may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Vaccination can prevent hepatitis A only if given within 14 days of exposure. Because those who ate at the restaurant on January 17 and 18 would have been exposed more than 14 days ago, they should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill.

Those who ate at the restaurant on January 22 should get the hepatitis A vaccination if they have not been previously vaccinated.

“The risk of transmission of hepatitis A in this situation is likely very low. However, as a precaution, we recommend that anyone who ate food from this restaurant on January 22 should consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not done so already. And again, those who may have been exposed on January 17 and 18 should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if become ill,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

Customers who dined at a Laurel restaurant in late January may have been exposed to hepatitis A, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.

State health officials said an employee who worked at the Huddle House restaurant on Chantilly Street has been diagnosed with the infection.

MSDH officials said anyone who ate at the restaurant from Jan. 26 to Jan. 29 may have been exposed to the highly contagious liver disease and are encouraged to get a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not received one in the past.

“It is unlikely that hepatitis A was transmitted to any customers from this particular case, but as a precaution, we do recommend the hep A vaccine for anyone who ate at the Huddle House from January 26 through January 29 if they have not already been vaccinated,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “The management and staff of this restaurant are fully cooperating with our investigation in order to prevent illnesses as a result of this exposure.”

Free vaccinations will be available at the Jones County Health Department on Thursday, Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 7, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The health department is located at 5168 Old Highway 11 in Ellisville.

MSDH continues to monitor an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Mississippi and surrounding states.

The Florida Department of Health in Citrus County (DOH-Citrus) has identified a positive case of hepatitis A in a food service worker in Homosassa.

DOH-Citrus conducted an epidemiological investigation and today determined an individual who worked at Old Mill Tavern, located at 10465 W. Yulee Dr. in Homosassa, from January 19 through February 3 may have been infectious.

The hepatitis A vaccine may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. Therefore, the hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for anyone who ate or drank at this restaurant between January 24 through February 3. Those who consumed food or beverage between January 19 through January 23 should instead observe for signs and symptoms of hepatitis A infection. This includes sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, pale white stools, or yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). Anyone experiencing these symptoms should promptly seek medical attention.

If you previously have received the hepatitis A vaccine or have had a past history of a Hepatitis A infection, you are considered immune to the Hepatitis A virus and do not need to take additional action.

Those with specific questions about exposure to hepatitis A at Old Mill Tavern can call 352-527-0068 to reach DOH-Citrus.

DOH-Citrus is encouraging all health care providers, including hospital emergency departments to stay on high alert and immediately report cases of Hepatitis A to DOH-Citrus, as well as identify those who would benefit from vaccination.

Contact your county’s health department for hepatitis A vaccinations if you live outside Citrus County. Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A.

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A associated with 555 East American Steakhouse in downtown Long Beach. Several cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed in individuals who ate at the restaurant on or around December 24, 2019. Those who ate there during that time may have been exposed. The source of the illness is still under investigation, and the restaurant’s management and staff are fully cooperating with Health Department officials to prevent further illness. The restaurant does not pose an ongoing risk to the public at this time.

“We are notifying the public of the exposure so that people can immediately seek medical care if they begin to develop symptoms,” said Dr. Anissa Davis, City Health Officer. “Individuals who have been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have had the disease are protected. Those who are not immune to hepatitis A should consult their medical provider if they develop symptoms, and let their provider know they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.”

Hepatitis A is an infectious disease of the liver. It is transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, dark urine, nausea, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). Once exposed to hepatitis A, if symptoms occur, they usually start appearing four weeks after exposure, but can occur as early as two and as late as seven weeks after exposure. Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days.

Those who contract the disease usually recover completely, but sometimes hepatitis A can lead to hospitalization and severe illness. It is very important that anyone with symptoms not go to work, especially if in food service, health care, or child care, and consult their medical provider immediately.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination with the hepatitis A vaccine. In addition, individuals can avoid infection by practicing good hand hygiene – including thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers and before preparing or eating food.

Individuals who ate at 555 East American Steakhouse on or around December 24, 2019 should contact their medical provider if they develop symptoms.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) have identified a case of hepatitis A virus infection in a Waterville food service worker. The individual prepared food while infectious from December 27, 2019, through January 9, 2020. An assessment of the individual’s illness determined that patrons of Josephs Market in Waterville may be at risk for hepatitis A infection.

Individuals who purchased deli items, ready-to-eat food, or meat from Josephs Market in Waterville between those dates should watch for symptoms and contact a health care provider to be tested if they show any signs of infection. Deli and ready-to eat-food purchased between December 27, 2019, and January 9, 2020, should be discarded. Meat purchased between those dates should either be discarded or cooked thoroughly.

Individuals who ate deli items, ready-to-eat food, or meat purchased between these dates have up to 14 days after eating it to receive Hepatitis A immune globulin (IG) or the vaccine. Contact your medical provider to discuss options. Individuals with compromised immune systems or children under one year old who ate deli items, ready-to-eat food, or meat from Josephs Market during this time could gain added protection by receiving the hepatitis A IG, upon consultation with their health care providers.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, contagious liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis A virus. Symptoms can range from mild illness to a severe sickness that requires hospitalization and can last several months. Most adults with hepatitis A have a sudden onset of symptoms such as tiredness, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, dark urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Most children younger than 6 years old do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.

Hepatitis A can be spread through contaminated food or water, especially in food prepared by a person who is infected. Symptoms will begin to show 15-50 days after exposure to the virus. An infected person can spread the virus to others approximately two weeks before symptoms start until one week after symptoms end.

Maine DACF and CDC are working with the business owner and local health care providers to minimize risk of further exposures.

Federal health officials said a hepatitis A outbreak possibly linked to blackberries sold at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market may also be linked to Woodman’s Market.

The CDC and FDA are investigating the outbreak potentially linked to blackberries purchased between Sept. 9 and Sept. 30 from these two Midwest retailers.

As of Tuesday, Dec. 10, the CDC reported 18 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A in six states, including Wisconsin.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from Oct. 8 through Nov. 15. CDC officials said 10 people had been hospitalized as of Dec. 10. No deaths had been reported.

In interviews, 100% of the ill reported eating fresh blackberries, and 16 purchased them from either Fresh Thyme or Woodman’s.

If you purchased fresh blackberries from Fresh Thyme or Woodman’s between Sept. 9 and 30, you should check your freezer for these blackberries. If you froze them to eat later, do not eat them. Throw away any remaining blackberries.

If you have eaten these blackberries, purchased fresh and later frozen, within the last 14 days and are not vaccinated against hepatitis A, contact your local health department or healthcare provider to discuss getting postexposure prophylaxis (hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin). Getting postexposure prophylaxis within 14 days of exposure can help prevent illness.

CDC officials noted efforts to identify suppliers of the blackberries causing the illness is ongoing.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The hepatitis A virus is found in the stool and blood of people who are infected. The hepatitis A virus is spread when someone ingests the virus, usually through close personal contact with an infected person or from eating contaminated food or drink. Hepatitis A can be prevented with a vaccine, which is recommended for all children at age one and adults at risk.

As of December 2, 2019, a total of 16 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A were reported from 6 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8, 2019, to November 15, 2019. Ill people range in age from 14 to 73 years, with a median age of 50. Seventy-five percent of ill people are female. Of 15 people with available information, 9 (60%) were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes for symptoms to appear after exposure (average 4 weeks) and the time it takes between when someone becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence are being collected and analyzed. A single, common supplier of fresh blackberries has not been identified.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the 2 to 7 weeks before they became ill. Of people who were interviewed, 15/15 (100%) reported eating fresh blackberries; of 13 people with known fresh blackberry purchase location information, 13/13 (100%) purchased fresh blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market. This proportion was significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people in which 7% reported eating fresh blackberries in the week before they were interviewed.

The FDA and regulatory officials in several states have collected records from grocery stores where ill people reported buying fresh blackberries and are conducting traceback investigations to try to identify a specific source of the fresh blackberries.

This outbreak investigation is ongoing, and CDC will update the public when more information becomes available.

As of November 26, 2019, this outbreak appears to be ongoing.

14 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A have been reported from 5 states (Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin).

Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8, 2019, to November 15, 2019.8 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence are being collected and analyzed. A single, common supplier of fresh blackberries has not been identified.

In interviews, 14/14 (100%) reported eating fresh blackberries. Of 12 cases with known fresh blackberry purchase location information, 12/12 (100%) purchased fresh blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

Traceback information to date shows that the berries came from a distribution center that ships fresh berries to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in 11 states: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

This outbreak investigation is ongoing, and CDC will update the public when more information becomes available.

As of November 20, 2019, a total of 11 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A were reported from 3 states – Indiana (2), Wisconsin (3) and Nebraska (6)

Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 15, 2019, to November 5, 2019. Ill people range in age from 14 to 73 years, with a median age of 35. Seventy-three percent of ill people are female. Of 11 people with available information, 6 (55%) were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes for symptoms to appear after exposure (average 4 weeks) and the time it takes between when someone becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence are being collected and analyzed. A single, common supplier of fresh blackberries has not been identified.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the 2 to 7 weeks before they became ill. Of people who were interviewed, 11/11 (100%) reported eating fresh blackberries; of 9 people with known fresh blackberry purchase location information, 9/9 (100%) purchased fresh blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market. This proportion was significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people in which 7% reported eating fresh blackberries in the week before they were interviewed.

The FDA and regulatory officials in several states have collected records from grocery stores where ill people reported buying fresh blackberries and are conducting traceback investigations to try to identify a specific source of the fresh blackberries.

This outbreak investigation is ongoing, and CDC will update the public when more information becomes available.