Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) announced today that people who consumed any food item from the Edible Arrangements store at 5211 South State Street in Murray between March 21 and April 13 may have been exposed to hepatitis A. This possible exposure affects only this Edible Arrangements location; health officials estimate that this store sold about 600 arrangements during this time.

Customers who consumed Edible Arrangements items from the Murray store between the dates listed should call 385-468-INFO (4636) for further instructions. The phone line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today through at least Friday, April 20. Health department staff will screen callers for their exposure risk and, if they are eligible, provide them with options for receiving an injection to prevent hepatitis A. To be effective, the injection must be given within 14 days of the possible exposure, so people who ate items from this location between April 4 and April 13 are eligible to receive the injection.

It is too late for people who ate items from this location between March 21 and April 3 to receive the injection, so those individuals should watch for symptoms of hepatitis A and see their health care provider if they’re concerned. Symptoms of hepatitis A include low fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and yellow skin and eyes.

Customers who are fully vaccinated (two doses) against hepatitis A are protected and do not need to contact the health department or receive vaccine. In July 2002, Utah began requiring hepatitis A vaccination for children entering kindergarten, so many people who began kindergarten during or after the 2002–2003 school year are likely vaccinated against hepatitis A; check your personal immunization record to be sure.

This possible hepatitis A exposure occurred when an employee infected with hepatitis A worked while ill. SLCoHD believes this case is linked to the ongoing outbreak Utah has been experiencing since summer 2017. To date, Salt Lake County has reported 153 hepatitis A cases related to that outbreak. We do not currently have any hepatitis A cases linked to this possible exposure at Edible Arrangements; because the incubation period for hepatitis A is two to seven weeks, we will not know for several weeks if anyone was infected from this possible exposure.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, which permits and regulates this Edible Arrangements location, closed the store yesterday afternoon and will supervise its sanitation before reopening. Under Salt Lake County’s food service regulation, SLCoHD will also require all store employees to be vaccinated against hepatitis A before they return to work.

“Food service establishments should consider vaccinating their employees against hepatitis A,” said Dr. Dagmar Vitek, SLCoHD medical director. “It’s also important that food handlers be conscientious with hygiene, hand washing and not working when ill—and that managers be vigilant in enforcing those important requirements that help protect public health.”

Hepatitis A vaccine is covered by many insurance plans and is available at local pharmacies, health care providers and SLCoHD immunization clinics. People not affected by this possible exposure but who would like to receive the vaccine may call 385-468-SHOT (7468) to make an appointment at a health department immunization clinic.

Kentucky officials say three deaths have now been reported in a hepatitis A outbreak in six counties.

The number was released Friday, along with a total number of cases of 352, through last Saturday. The state Department of Public Health recommends hepatitis A vaccinations for children older than 1 year and adults living in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties.

Public Health Acting Commissioner Jeffrey Howard said in a news release that it’s safe to travel to Kentucky and attend the May 5 Kentucky Derby. He said the Centers for Disease Control hasn’t issued any travel restrictions or made any vaccination recommendations for travelers.

The Indiana State Department of Health said this week that residents should be vaccinated and protect themselves from hepatitis A when traveling to states experiencing outbreaks.

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food handler at Dave & Buster’s restaurant on Monroe Street, the department said Thursday.

Any restaurant patrons who consumed food or drink there between March 1 and March 29 are encouraged to monitor potential symptoms and contact their health care provider to be assessed for vaccination or treatment.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that can be spread by ingesting food or water contaminated by feces or through sexual contact. Symptoms such as fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, and jaundice can appear two to six weeks after exposure.

The employee is not currently working and is receiving medical care, according to the health department. The restaurant, located at 5001 Monroe St., is working with health officials to avoid additional exposure.

Southeast Michigan is experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak that began in August, 2016. As of April 11, 804 cases and 25 deaths have been confirmed in the region, according to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. Seventeen of those cases are from Monroe County.

 

The Macomb County Health Department has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food service worker at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Warren.

The restaurant at 29287 Mound was inspected Tuesday, according to a release from the health department. The eatery has been approved to operate, and management worked with the health department in the investigation.

The health department is advising anyone who ate at the restaurant from March 24 through April 9 to watch for symptoms of hepatitis A, which include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark urine, fever, chills and yellow skin and eyes or jaundice.

Symptoms can develop anywhere from 15 and 50 days after exposure, the health department said. People developing these symptoms should get medical care.

The health department also recommends a hepatitis A vaccine for previously unvaccinated people who consumed food at the restaurant from March 24 and April 9. Vaccination can prevent hepatitis A if given within 14 days after potential exposure. The vaccine is available at the county health department, some health care providers and pharmacies, according to the release.

Michigan is experiencing a serious hepatitis A outbreak. More than 800 cases have been reported statewide since August of 2016.

Hepatitis A infection is a contagious liver disease that is caused by ingesting the virus through contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person or contaminated food or water supply, according to the county health department.

According to the Oakland County Health Department, most people recover completely and death or serious illness is very rare, but may occur if a person is already ill or elderly. There is no specific treatment for the infection, but a doctor can recommend measures, such as rest, change in diet and guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading it to others.

Some of the best ways to prevent infection are to get vaccinated; wash hands after using the restroom and before eating or preparing meals; use your own towels, toothbrushes and eating utensils; do not have sex with someone who has hepatitis A infection, and do not share food, drinks, drugs or cigarettes with other people, according to the Macomb County Health Department.

The Macomb County Health Department has three locations: the Mt. Clemens Health Center, 43525 Elizabeth, in Mt. Clemens; the Southwest Health Center, 27690 Van Dyke, Suite B, in Warren, and the Southeast Family Resource Center, 25401 Harper, in St. Clair Shores.

Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties.

To date, 214 cases have been reported in the Jefferson County/Louisville area. Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties have each reported 5 or more cases for a total 311 cases associated with the outbreak. One death has been reported.

“Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable illness. DPH recommends all children, ages 1 year through 18, receive the Hepatitis A vaccine as well as adults who want to protect themselves from an acute hepatitis A infection,” said Dr. Jeffrey Howard, acting DPH commissioner.  “In these counties with local transmission of the hepatitis A virus, we recommend everyone be vaccinated per guidelines to help stop this outbreak.”

For adults, the hepatitis A vaccine is typically given in two doses — an initial vaccination followed by another shot six months later. DPH recommends that all people in outbreak counties consult with their primary care doctor or insurance carrier regarding an in-network provider for administration of the hepatitis A vaccine. The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) recommends vaccination for people who wish to be protected against hepatitis A infection. For insured people, the hepatitis A vaccine should not require any out-of-pocket costs as long as policies are compliant with the federal Affordable Care Act.

Since 2006, the CDC has recommended children receive the hepatitis A vaccine series.  Effective July 1, 2018, all Kentucky students in kindergarten through 12th grade must receive two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine to attend school or receive a provisional certificate of immunization (unless their parents claim an exemption).

Signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), dark-colored urine, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea and fever. The virus is found in the stool of people infected with Hepatitis A and typically spread from person to person contact. The disease often is transmitted when people do not wash their hands properly or do not have access to proper sanitation.  DPH recommends individuals wash their hands often and particularly after using the restroom or before consuming food. Hand sanitizer should be used only when soap and water is unavailable.

While the current hepatitis A outbreak is occurring primarily within specific at-risk populations, including people who use illicit drugs (both injection and non-injection) and the homeless, through person-to-person transmission.  Approximately, 30 percent of cases do not report any risk factors.  Therefore, it is recommended that children and adults in counties with local transmission of the virus as part of this outbreak receive the hepatitis A vaccine.

Hepatitis A vaccine is widely available at local pharmacies and health care providers. For additional information on the hepatitis A vaccination, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/afaq.htm#E1.

They are all in Kentucky where a hepatitis A outbreak has been ongoing for months.  With 272 with Hepatitis A in Kentucky restaurants must offer hepatitis A vaccines to employees – its common sense – Full Report

A McDonald’s Corporation employee in Kentucky could have potentially spread hepatitis A to customers, according to local health officials, igniting a new health scare for the fast-food giant.

Officials at the Madison County health department are warning people that they may have been infected by the food handler, who was working at a restaurant in the town of Berea, south of Lexington, on March 23.

An employee at the Applebee’s on Dixie Highway has been diagnoses with hepatitis A, the Louisville Department of Health said in a series of Tweets on Friday night.

The Applebee’s in question is located at 4717 Dixie Hwy.

Anyone who ate at that Applebee’s between March 23 and April 12 should get a hepatitis A vaccine, the health department said.

The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is investigating a case involving a food preparation worker at Texas Roadhouse diagnosed with hepatitis A.

The window of possible exposure is March 20 through April 12, 2018.

The restaurant is located in the 500 block of Winchester Road.

If you have been exposed, there is a two-week window to receive the hepatitis A vaccine. After those two weeks have passed, the vaccine may not be effective in preventing the virus.

According to press reports, Western Australia has reported its first case of hepatitis A infection, as part of a national outbreak linked to contaminated frozen pomegranates.

The Western Australia case follows five cases in New South Wales, one in Australian Capital Territory and one in Queensland.

The implicated product is Creative Gourmet brand pomegranate arils, sold at Coles Supermarkets.

As a precautionary measure, Entyce Food Ingredients Pty Ltd has issued a voluntary recall of its Creative Gourmet Frozen Pomegranate Aril product.

Western Australia communicable disease control director Dr. Paul Armstrong urged Western Australians who had eaten imported frozen pomegranates, purchased from Coles, to see their family GP if they develop symptoms of hepatitis A.

“Hepatitis A is a virus and symptoms of infection include fever, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin, dark urine and pale stools,” he said.

“Symptoms can take two to seven weeks to develop after eating contaminated food. People can also become infected from being in contact with infected people and drinking water contaminated with the virus.”

2 dead with 233 sick with Hepatitis A.

The Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) announced today that two county residents have died due to Utah’s ongoing hepatitis A outbreak. The first death occurred in January but due to other health conditions affecting the individual, officials were waiting on confirmatory tests to declare an official cause of death. The second death occurred in late March.

Both deceased individuals were adults who belonged to one or more population groups previously identified by health officials as high-risk for contracting hepatitis A in this outbreak (people experiencing homelessness, people who use illicit drugs, or people who are or have recently been incarcerated). Due to medical privacy laws, public health officials are unable to share additional specifics about these individuals.

“These deaths are a tragic reminder that hepatitis A is a serious disease—but one that is preventable,” said Dr. Dagmar Vitek, medical director for SLCoHD. “Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection, and the vaccine is widely available from health care providers, pharmacies, and Salt Lake County immunization clinics.”

Hepatitis A vaccine is given via two shots at least six months apart. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the first dose provides 94% protection against hepatitis A for 2–5 years and the second dose provides 99% protection for 20–25 years. Vaccine appointments are available at Salt Lake County immunization clinics by calling 385-468-SHOT.

People can also dramatically reduce their risk of contracting hepatitis A by washing their hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, and eating, serving or preparing food.

“Food handlers must be especially vigilant about hand washing, and we encourage restaurant workers to consider receiving the vaccine to protect both themselves and their customers,” continued Dr. Vitek.

Through April 2, Salt Lake County has identified 148 cases of hepatitis A related to this outbreak (Utah has seen 212 cases to date). Epidemiologists have linked the Utah outbreak, which began in the summer of 2017, to a national outbreak first reported in San Diego, California.

Since January 1, 2017, Utah public health has identified 233 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.

Since August 2017, SLCoHD has conducted targeted vaccination and awareness campaigns to try to control the outbreak, including holding on-site vaccination clinics at community locations where individuals thought to be at high risk congregate. The department has also distributed thousands of hygiene kits to people in need; the kits contain soap, disinfectant wipes, and other products encouraging hand washing and good hygiene.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that (unlike other forms of hepatitis) does not usually result in chronic infection. It is caused by a virus and can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests the virus from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces from an infected person. Symptoms of infection include fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is working with local health departments in southern Indiana to respond to a recent increase in hepatitis A cases, many of which are tied to a large outbreak in Kentucky.

In the last month, 17 cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed statewide, including 11 in Clark and Floyd counties. Since Jan. 1, ISDH has confirmed 40 cases of hepatitis A statewide. Typically, fewer than 20 cases are confirmed each year in Indiana.

Many of the southern Indiana cases have involved inmates in the Clark County Jail. However, an elementary school in Clark County and a Bob Evans restaurant on State Street in New Albany also have been impacted.

“Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus, and seeing this many cases in such a short timeframe is concerning,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “We are working closely with our local partners to identify individuals who may have been exposed and to halt the transmission of disease.”

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. It is generally transmitted via fecal-oral routes or through consumption of contaminated food or water. Individuals can contract the virus through contact with:

  • Foods prepared or served by an infected person(s)
  • Stool or blood of an infected person(s)
  • Inanimate objects that may have trace amounts of fecal material from hand contact
  • Shared syringes or “works” used to inject drugs

Symptoms vary greatly, from severe to none at all, and may include loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, fever, stomach ache, dark (cola) colored urine and light colored stools. Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin) may appear a few days after the onset of these symptoms. Individuals can become ill 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus. Most people who get hepatitis A feel sick for several weeks, but they usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. However, hospitalization and, in rare cases, death can occur.

Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A should contact a healthcare provider immediately. Individuals with symptoms should not prepare or serve food to others and should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after eating and after restroom use. Food handlers in schools, hospitals, restaurants and other facilities that serve large numbers of people are encouraged to get vaccinated, which is the best way to prevent hepatitis A.

Since 2014, Indiana has required that children be vaccinated for hepatitis A prior to the start of the school year. Therefore, children in kindergarten through grade 3 have likely been immunized against the disease. Older children and adults may not have been immunized and are urged to check their vaccination status.

The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department reported on Tuesday that customers of both Waffle House restaurant locations in Boyd County were potentially exposed to the highly contagious virus by an infected foodservice worker.

“The single employee worked at each location during the infectious period,” according to the public health alert. “The window of possible exposure was Feb. 12-28.

The Waffle House restaurant owner and employees have cooperated fully with the local and state health officials to identify all employee contacts, according to the county alert. Waffle House employees are receiving post-exposure vaccinations.

Anyone who consumed foods or beverages at either of the Waffle House locations during the possible exposure period is urged to monitor themselves for signs of infection in the coming weeks. It can take up to 50 days after exposure for symptoms to develop, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some of the Waffle House customers still have time to receive post-exposure vaccinations. The after-the-fact injections must be giving within 14 days of exposure or they are not effective. The last date for the post-exposure vaccine is March 13, according to the county health department.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus. Symptoms, when present, can include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and the yellowing of the eyes or skin. Some adults and most young children do not develop symptoms while infected, but they can spread the virus. The virus can contaminate foods, beverages, surfaces, clothing, bed linens — often because of inadequate handwashing. Hepatitis A can also be spread by close personal contact with an infected person, including sexual contact and sharing needles.

In Kentucky, 148 cases have been confirmed through laboratory testing since Jan. 1, 2017. The state health department officially declared the outbreak on Nov. 28, 2017. Multiple Kentucky counties have reported confirmed outbreak cases, but Louisville in Jefferson County has the vast majority at 124 as of Tuesday. Of the state’s confirmed cases, 107 of the people have had such severe symptoms that they required hospitalization. The person who died was a Jefferson County resident.

The outbreak strain was first identified in California, but cases have been confirmed in several states, including Michigan, Utah, Oregon and Nevada. Nationwide more than 1,200 people have been confirmed in the outbreak, with the majority requiring hospitalization. More than 40 deaths have been confirmed.