The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has identified a case of acute hepatitis A virus infection in a Saco food service worker.

The individual handled food at Saco House of Pizza in Saco while infectious from August 5, 2020, through August 21, 2020. While this employee was not in charge of preparing food, the individual had access to food in the kitchen.

Maine CDC’s assessment of the employee’s illness determined that restaurant patrons and employees may be at risk for hepatitis A infection. Out of an abundance of caution, Maine CDC recommends that anyone who may have eaten food prepared at Saco House of Pizza or worked at the restaurant from August 18, 2020, through August 21, 2020, promptly receive hepatitis A vaccine, as there is a 14-day window during which prophylaxis is effective after exposure. This includes anyone who may have had take-out, delivery, or curbside pickup of food from the restaurant.

Anyone who visited the restaurant from August 5, 2020, through August 17, 2020, is outside the timeframe for which prophylaxis is recommended but should watch for symptoms and seek medical attention if symptoms develop. Individuals with compromised immune systems or children younger than one year old who visited the restaurant during this time may benefit from hepatitis A immune globulin (IG), upon consultation with their health care providers.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Symptoms 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.

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

Health care providers are encouraged to remain vigilant for hepatitis A infection in persons with consistent symptoms.

According to press reports, there has been a sharp increase in hepatitis A cases in three Maine counties since February, according to a release sent out by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) Friday morning.

It says there were zero cases reported in the counties between January and February of this year, but in the last four months, there has since been an uptick to 26 cases total.

According to the release, in 21 of the 26 cases, there were risk factors of injection drug use or housing insecurity.

Maine has had seven to ten cases of hepatitis A cases per year during the past decade, but last year that number more than tripled to 45 cases total.

“This increase was driven by a restaurant-associated outbreak and cases related to injection drug use or housing insecurity,” the release reads. “Since January 1, 2020, Maine CDC has identified 39 cases of Hepatitis A statewide — recent case investigations, however, have not identified a source of the infections.”

New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts are also among states that have reported outbreaks of hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A infection is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus and is usually spread through personal contact rather than contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, and jaundice – according to the release.

An employee at La Roma Pizzeria, 600 Floyd Ave., has tested positive for Hepatitis A and worked while infectious, possibly exposing restaurant patrons, according to the Oneida County Health Department.

In previous instances, the Health Department said that cases in restaurants do not suggest anything was done wrong or proper sanitation procedures not followed, but simply that a person may have worked at the establishments before learning that he or she had the condition.

LaRoma’s Pizzeria has been notified of potential Hepatitis A exposure, and is cooperating with the Health Department. Health Department staff are inspecting the restaurant and will conduct additional inspections over the coming weeks.

“All those who are eligible should get vaccinated for Hepatitis A,” said Phyllis D. Ellis, BSN, MS, FACHE, county director of health in a statement.

Now, “those who consumed food prepared by the restaurant between April 27, 2020 and May 4, 2020 must receive preventive treatment within 14 days of exposure,” reads a health department statement.

Those who consumed food between April 20 and April 26 are asked to monitor themselves for symptoms. The post exposure vaccine would not be effective for patrons who were exposed prior to April 27, according to the health department.

The Hepatitis A vaccine is effective if given within two weeks of exposure, a release continues.

To get a vaccination, contact a health care provider or contact the Oneida County Health Department at 315-798-5747 and press 1 to make an appointment.

The Oneida County Health Department tells NewsChannel 2 that an employee of Tavolo restaurant, located at 131 N. Genesee St. in Utica, has tested positive for Hepatitis A.

The Health Department says the employee worked while infectious and may have exposed people who were patrons of the restaurant. The Health Department is alerting those who either dined-in or had take-out of the potential exposure.

If you dined at the restaurant after 5 p.m. on February 22, 28, or 29, 2020 or March 6, 7, or 13, 2020, please monitor yourself for symptoms.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of Hepatitis A include:

• Yellow skin or eyes
• Loss of appetite
• Upset stomach
• Stomach pain
• Vomiting
• Fever
• Dark urine or light-colored stools
• Joint pain
• Diarrhea
• Fatigue

In addition, if you dined at the restaurant after 5 p.m. on March 6, 7, or 13, 2020, the Hepatitis A vaccine is effective if given within two weeks of exposure.

Those who consumed food prepared by the restaurant on these dates from after 5:00 p.m. must receive preventive treatment within 14 days of exposure. Please contact the Health Department at 315-798-5064 or your health care provider to receive the Hepatitis A vaccination.

Symptoms commonly appear within 28 days of exposure, with a range of 15 to 50 days. The post-exposure vaccine would not be effective for patrons who were exposed prior to March 6, 2020. If you have any of these symptoms, please contact the Health Department or your health care provider.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says a food handler working at the Family Place Restaurant and Pizza in Huntsville was carrying the Hepatitis A virus.

“We believe the risk of transmission is low; however, as a precaution, exposed people should monitor for signs and symptoms for 50 days,” said Dr. Colin Lee, Associate Medical Officer of Health. “The disease can result in a liver infection and can be a greater health risk for older adults and those with liver disease. The Hepatitis A vaccine is an effective protection against the disease.”

The health unit urges a Hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who worked or dined at, or had takeout from the restaurant on the following dates and times:

Feb 26: 5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Feb 27, 28, 29, Mar 1st: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
March 4: 6 a.m. – 8 a.m.
March 7: 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.

The vaccine is no longer effective more than 14 days after exposure. Customers or employees should monitor for symptoms of the disease if they ate at the restaurant on these dates:

Feb 19: 5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Feb 21: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Feb 22, 23:6 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Health Unit stresses it is not a direct reflection on the restaurant, as the disease can happen at any time in any setting. Free immunization clinics are being held at the Canada Summit Centre (Active Living Centre located at the back of the Summit Centre), 20 Park Drive, Huntsville, on:

Wednesday, March 11: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday, March 12: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday, March 13: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Hepatitis A is spread from person-to-person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool/poo of a person that has the Hepatitis A virus. The virus can contaminate food, drinks, surfaces, and everyday objects. Once infected, a person can pass the virus to others for two weeks or more before they even know they are sick.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus. Symptoms of Hepatitis A usually develop about four weeks after exposure to the virus, although this period can range from 15 to 50 days. Symptoms can include fever, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, a general feeling of being unwell, followed by a few days of jaundice. People who are immunocompromised, are older, or have a pre-existing chronic liver disease are more at risk of serious illness.

For information about Hepatitis A or if you are experiencing symptoms and have dined or had takeout at this restaurant on any of the dates noted above, please call Health Connection at 721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 ext. 5875. Hours have been extended to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. You may also follow up with your primary healthcare provider.

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.