Oakland County health officials have confirmed a case of hepatitis A at a restaurant in Novi.

Guests who ate at a Red Lobster in the 27700 block of Novi Road between Jan. 14 – Feb. 14 may have been exposed to the liver infection since an employee was diagnosed as having contracted it, the Oakland County Health Division reported Friday.

“Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days after potential exposure,” said Kathy Forzley, director of health and human services for Oakland County. “If you have eaten at this location during these dates and have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have a sudden onset of any symptoms, contact your doctor.”

Symptoms can include sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, and/or vomiting often followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes. Symptoms can appear from 14-50 days after exposure, but average about one month, health officials said.

Saginaw County has joined a growing number of counties affected by an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in southeast Michigan that has hospitalized hundreds and killed more than two dozen.

Officials with the Saginaw County Department of Public Health announced there have been two confirmed cases of the disease in Saginaw County linked to the outbreak.

Across Michigan, there had been 736 cases of hepatitis A linked to the outbreak as of Feb. 6, resulting in 24 deaths in 596 hospitalizations, according to health department officials.

The counties and cities with the most cases include Macomb County, with 208 cases; city of Detroit, with 160 cases; Wayne County, with 128 cases; and Oakland County, with 100 cases.

The Lenawee County Health Department has a confirmed case of hepatitis A.

A Lenawee County resident tested positive for Hepatitis A. It is believed to be linked to an outbreak in southeast Michigan.

The health department says the individual is not considered to be at high risk of spreading the disease to other people.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease, an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus, or HAV.

As the outbreak continues to spread across the state, health officials remind people the most effective way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination and hand washing with soap and water.

HAV is found in feces of people with hepatitis A and is most commonly spread by consuming contaminated food or water, during sex, or by living with an infected person. Symptoms of HAV infection include:

·       Nausea and vomiting

·       Stomach pain

·       Feeling tired

·       Fever

·       Loss of appetite

·       Yellowing of the skin and eyes

·       Dark urine

·       Pale-colored feces

·       Joint pain

The hepatitis A virus is a contagious liver disease most commonly spread by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with
feces or by oral contact with contaminated objects.

Most infections result from contact with an infected household member
or sex partners. It is not spread through coughing or sneezing.

Hepatitis A can range from mild to serious, lasting a few weeks to several months. Anyone who has hepatitis A can spread the
virus to others starting 1-2 weeks prior to symptoms appearing.

Symptoms may include fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea/
vomiting,fever, yellow skin (jaundice), dark urine, pale stool and joint pain. Some people have no symptoms.

Vaccination is strongly encouraged for all eligible individuals, as multiple counties in southeast Michigan have seen outbreaks of hepatitis A in recent months. Children ages 1 through 18 should receive the vaccine as part of the routine vaccination schedule.

The vaccine has been available since 1996, but it did not become a routine recommendation for children until 2006.

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) and the Casper-Natrona County Health Department continue to investigate a growing Natrona County hepatitis A outbreak that began in October.

Since October, 14 cases have been confirmed among Natrona County residents, which is a significant increase over the usual total for Wyoming. Previously, the long-term average statewide was two cases annually with the last reported local Hepatitis A infection in 2012.

“While some of the Natrona County cases did not have a clear hepatitis A exposure risk, recent cases have been concentrated among current injection drug users,” said Clay Van Houten, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program manager with WDH.

Infection with hepatitis A typically results in symptoms in older children and adults. Symptoms usually occur abruptly and include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, joint pain and jaundice.

There can be a significant delay between when someone who is exposed to the virus and when they show symptoms. “People recently exposed to hepatitis A who have not been vaccinated should receive a vaccine as soon as possible,” Van Houten said.

Specific risk factors for hepatitis A include:

  • Persons with direct contact with a person who has hepatitis A
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Users of injection and non-injection drugs
  • Travelers to countries with high rates of hepatitis A infectionHepatitis A can cause infection in the liver. The virus is primarily spread person-to-person through oral contact with contaminated items such as swallowing food or drink tainted with a tiny amount infected feces.

Van Houten said the best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination. Handwashing, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food, plays an important role in preventing the spread of the virus.

Vaccination to prevent hepatitis A is routinely recommended. Children aged at least 12 months and less than 24 months should receive two doses of the vaccine separated by at least 6 months and no less than 18 months. The vaccine series is also recommended for people aged 2 years or older who have not already received it. The Casper-Natrona County Health Department offers the hepatitis A series vaccine; some people may qualify for free or discounted vaccine. For more information or to schedule a clinic appointment, please call 307-235-9340.

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, who 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.

Clay County and Arkansas health officials will be hosting a series of walk-in clinics over the next few days to give vaccinations to people who may have been exposed to Hepatitis A while eating at a local restaurant last month.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the clinics will be held:

  • Feb. 16, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Corning and Piggott locations of the Clay County Health Unit.
  • Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Corning location.
  • Feb. 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Corning location.
  • Feb. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Corning location.

The Corning location is at 301 North Missouri Ave., while the Piggott location is at 1009 South Garfield Ave., officials said in the announcement. People can call 870-857-6281 for the Corning office and 870-598-5719 for the Piggott office for more information.

People are being asked to contact their local healthcare provider or go to the clinics if they have not been vaccinated for Hepatitis A.

On Wednesday, state health officials began warning of a possible Hepatitis A exposure after a Taco Bell employee in Corning tested positive for the virus.

In a statement Wednesday, officials asked that anyone who has eaten food at the restaurant between Jan. 24 and Feb. 7, 2018 and is having symptoms should call their doctor immediately.

Also, officials said they believe there is no known risk for anyone who ate at the restaurant after Feb. 7 at this time.

There are no specific treatments available once a person gets the virus, officials say.

However, the virus can be prevented by vaccination or through getting immune globulin medicine.

The medicine, officials say, includes antibodies from people who are immune to the virus and is effective if a person receives it within two weeks of exposure. If a person at the restaurant on Feb. 1, they would need to get medical help by Feb. 15.

The symptoms of Hepatitis A are fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, joint pain, clay-colored bowel movements or jaundiced skin.

The virus, which can cause people to be sick within two to seven weeks of exposure, can also be transmitted to other people up to two weeks before and a week after the symptoms happen, officials say.

The Clay County Health Unit in Piggott will have immune globulin and Hepatitis A vaccine medicine available for people, upon request with an appointment or after Feb. 15.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, officials are warning of a possible Hepatitis A exposure after a Taco Bell employee in Corning tested positive for the virus.

In a statement, officials asked that anyone who has eaten food at the restaurant between Jan. 24 and Feb. 7, 2018 and is having symptoms should call their doctor immediately.

Also, officials said they believe there is no known risk for anyone who ate at the restaurant after Feb. 7 at this time.

There are no specific treatments available once a person gets the virus, officials say.

However, the virus can be prevented by vaccination or through getting immune globulin medicine.

The medicine, officials say, includes antibodies from people who are immune to the virus and is effective if a person receives it within two weeks of exposure. If a person at the restaurant on Feb. 1, they would need to get medical help by Feb. 15.

The symptoms of Hepatitis A are fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, joint pain, clay-colored bowel movements or jaundiced skin.

The virus, which can cause people to be sick within two to seven weeks of exposure, can also be transmitted to other people up to two weeks before and a week after the symptoms happen, officials say.

The Clay County Health Unit in Piggott will have immune globulin and Hepatitis A vaccine medicine available for people, upon request with an appointment or after Feb. 15.

People can call 870-598-3390 for more information on getting the medicine.

Another case of hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler that worked while potentially contagious at Huddle House in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The restaurant, in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services and Butler County Health Department, is investigating and is taking necessary control measures to decrease the spread of the illness.

Members of the public who ate at the Poplar Bluff, Missouri Huddle House between January 3, 2018 and January 17, 2018 should consider speaking with their health care provider about steps to take to prevent illness. Patrons exposed during this time period should seek medical care if they have symptoms of hepatitis A.

Earlier, a case of Hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler that worked while potentially contagious at Huddle House in Dexter, Missouri. The restaurant, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Senior Services and Stoddard County Health Center, is investigating and has taken necessary control measures to decrease the risk of spreading the illness.

Members of the public who ate at the Dexter, Missouri, Huddle House between November 21, 2017 and December 2, 2017 should watch for symptoms of Hepatitis A and seek medical care if they have symptoms. Symptoms usually develop between two and seven weeks after exposure and can include:

Symptoms usually develop between two and seven weeks after exposure and can include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease. If given within two weeks of exposure, according to the specific CDC guidelines for prophylaxis, vaccine or immune globulin (IG) can prevent illness. With concurrent outbreaks occurring across the nation, vaccine and IG are in limited supply. Therefore, use of these prevention strategies must be restricted to those at highest risk for illness or complications. It is important to note that receiving a Hepatitis A vaccine or IG more than two weeks after a known exposure may not prevent illness.

Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver. Most people who get hepatitis A feel sick for several weeks, but they usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death; this is more common in people older than 50 and in people with other liver diseases.

Hepatitis A is spread when a person swallows the virus present on objects or in food or drinks contaminated by tiny amounts of stool from an infected person. The best way to keep from getting sick from hepatitis A is to get vaccinated. Hepatitis A vaccine is highly effective when administered properly. However, because vaccines may be limited at this time, good hand washing practices are even more important than usual to prevent hepatitis A from spreading. Washing hands after going to the bathroom and changing diapers and before preparing or eating food help keep the virus from spreading to uninfected people.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is the only common foodborne disease preventable by vaccine. It is one of five hepatitis viruses that infect the liver. While hepatitis B and C can turn into chronic hepatitis, hepatitis A generally does not; although it can lead to liver failure and death.

Hepatitis A is rare in the United States, with 30,000 to 50,000 cases occurring each year. However, in most other countries, poorer sanitation systems lead to easier transmission of the disease, and therefore more cases.

Hepatitis A is a contagious disease. It travels in feces, and can spread from person to person, or can be contracted from food or water. In cases of contaminated food, it is usually the person preparing the food who contaminates it. The food handler will probably not know they have the virus, since the virus is most likely to be passed on in the first two weeks of illness, before a person begins to show symptoms.

SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS A

Symptoms of hepatitis A usually appear around 28 days after infection, but can start as early as two weeks after catching the virus. Only 30 percent of children with the virus actually develop symptoms. Early symptoms of this hepatitis virus include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Fever
  • Weakness and fatigue

After a few days of experiencing these symptoms, 70 percent of patients develop jaundice, a yellowing of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Jaundice also causes dark urine and light, clay-colored feces.

Length of Symptoms

Symptoms usually last less than two months, although they sometimes last up to six months, and jaundice can linger for up to eight months. Patients can also experience severely itchy skin for a few months after symptoms first appear. Most patients fully recover.

COMPLICATION OF HEPATITIS A

An acute hepatitis A case can develop into Fulminant Hepatitis A. This is a rare but severe complication of Hepatitis A, in which the toxins from the hepatitis virus kill an abnormally high number of liver cells (around ¾ of the liver’s total cells), and the liver begins to die.  Fifty percent of patients with this condition require an immediate liver transplant to avoid death. Fulminant hepatitis A can also cause further complications, including muscular dysfunction and multiple organ failure.

DIAGNOSIS OF HEPATITIS A

Hepatitis symptoms can be extremely similar among all human forms of hepatitis. Therefore a blood test is needed to determine the specific hepatitis virus one has. The virus shows up in a person’s blood 10 to 12 days after a person is infected, at which point a doctor can draw a blood sample to determine which form of hepatitis a person has.

PREVENTION OF HEPATITIS A

Hepatitis A is completely avoidable, since a hepatitis A vaccine exists to prevent it. However, since the vaccine only became recommended for all children in 2006, many people are not vaccinated. Hepatitis transmission is still possible, and prevention techniques are still important. Food handlers should always wash hands after using the bathroom or changing a diaper and before preparing food.

Prevention of Acute Hepatitis After Infection

After a person has been exposed to Hepatitis A, immune globulin (IG) is 80 to 90 percent effective in preventing clinical hepatitis when it is injected within two weeks of exposure.

Who should get the Hepatitis A Vaccine?

Starting in 2006, this hepatitis vaccine became recommended for all children ages 12-23 months. The vaccine is also recommended for the following groups of people:

  • Travelers to areas with higher rates of hepatitis A
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Drug users (both injecting and non-injecting)
  • Those with blood clotting disorders (e.g. hemophilia)
  • Those with chronic liver disease
  • Those who risk infection in the workplace (e.g. hospital or laboratory workers)
  • Children living in regions of the U.S. with increased rates of hepatitis A
  • Members of households with an adopted child arriving from a country with a high rate of Hepatitis A
TREATING HEPATITIS A

Once the symptoms for hepatitis A appear, there is no direct treatment for the virus. Patients should rest according to how tired they feel, and should receive enough nutrition either by eating or through fluids, since the disease can cause a lack of appetite.

Treatment for Fulminant Hepatitis A

Treatment for this complication will vary depending on a person’s individual case. In cases of advanced liver failure, a liver transplant may be the only option available to avoid death.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR HEPATITIS A

About-Hepatitis.com is a comprehensive site with in-depth information about hepatitis A virus and hepatitis A infection.

Hepatitis Blog provides up-to-date news related to hepatitis A outbreaks, research, and more.

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, who 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.

The Utah Department of Health reported that two restaurants are linked to an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Utah County and other parts of the state since August.  This on top of a 7-11 earlier this month.

Anyone who ate, drank or used the restroom at Sonic Drive-In or Olive Garden in Spanish Fork on certain days in December may have been exposed to hepatitis A, health officials warn. An infected employee was working at those locations at the time, the department said. It warns that symptoms don’t show up immediately and it is important to get a vaccine as soon as possible.

Those at risk visited Sonic on North Main Street on Dec. 23 or 24, or Olive Garden on North Canyon Creek Parkway anytime from Dec. 21-30, the Utah County Health Department said in a prepared statement Tuesday evening.

The department is making vaccinations available to those who may have been exposed to the disease.

The health department encouraged businesses that serve food to vaccinate employees.

Since January 1, 2017, Utah public health has identified 152 confirmed cases of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection; many among persons who are homeless and/or using illicit drugs. Several cases have been linked by investigation and/or viral sequencing to a national outbreak of hepatitis A involving cases in California and Arizona. Hospitalization rates of less than 40% have been described in previous hepatitis A outbreaks; however, other jurisdictions associated with this outbreak are reporting case hospitalization rates approaching 70%. The high rate of hospitalization may be a result of cases having underlying illnesses (e.g., alcoholism), or a higher rate of hepatitis comorbidities (e.g., hepatitis B or C). In response to the outbreak, public health officials have been working to identify cases and contacts, provide education, and ensure opportunities for vaccination of close contacts to cases and vulnerable populations.

Hepatitis A is usually spread through having oral contact with items contaminated with hepatitis A, for example, through ingesting food or drinks contaminated by infected feces. Some people do not develop symptoms, even if infected. If symptoms occur, they usually appear anywhere from 2-6 weeks after exposure. Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days, and may include jaundice (the yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), abdominal pain, nausea or diarrhea. Hepatitis A vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A infection.

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) is investigating two cases of hepatitis A in Kauai residents. Symptoms began from November 2017, and investigation is ongoing. The strain of the virus in both cases appears to be the same one currently circulating in California.

“As our investigators continue their work, we want to remind Hawaii residents that hepatitis A vaccination is highly effective in preventing infection,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist. “With large, multi-state outbreaks occurring across the country, it is important that we all take precautions to prevent hepatitis A infection whether at home, work, recreating, or traveling.”

California’s hepatitis A outbreak originated in San Diego and has spreadstatewide and to other states. Hawaii travelers to the mainland may become infected during their visit and can accidentally bring that infection home with them.

The virus is found in the stool of people with hepatitis A infection and is usually spread through close personal or sexual contact as well as by eating contaminated food or drinking water. A person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others within the same household. While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking food and using safe food handling practices can also help prevent infection.

Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes. Symptoms typically last several weeks to as long as two months. Persons should seek medical attention immediately should they develop symptoms.

The hepatitis A vaccine is included in routine childhood immunizations at age 1 and is recommended for adults who are at risk or want to protect themselves from hepatitis A. People are encouraged to complete the two-dose vaccine series to assure long-term immunity. Individuals who want to be vaccinated are encouraged to contact their health care provider.

The Department of Health said a case of Hepatitis A has been identified from a food handler that worked while potentially contagious at a Huddle House in Dexter, Missouri.

Members of the public who ate at the Dexter, Missouri, Huddle House between November 21, 2017, and December 2, 2017, should watch for symptoms of Hepatitis A.

The restaurant, county health, and health and senior services are investigating and said they are taking the necessary control measures to decrease the spread of illness.

Health officials say to seek medical care if symptoms develop. Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver.

Symptoms develop between two and seven weeks after exposure and can include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)

Residents or providers who are concerned about a potential exposure can call the Stoddard County Health Center at 573-568-4593.