The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating a report of hepatitis A virus infection in an employee of Whole Foods Market in Beverly Hills (239 N. Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210).

No additional cases have been identified at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

Based on the employee’s job duties and symptoms while at work, Public Health is recommending that anyone who purchased products from the seafood counter section of the store between April 20th and May 13th receive hepatitis A vaccine if they are not already immune. People who have not received the hepatitis A vaccine or had a previous hepatitis A infection may not be protected from the virus.

Receiving vaccination as soon as possible after exposure could help reduce the risk of developing hepatitis A infection. Residents should contact their local pharmacy or medical provider for the vaccine. Public Health is working with the company to ensure employees that are not immune are referred for vaccination.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Although rare, hepatitis A can cause death in some people. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.

There is no specific antiviral treatment for hepatitis A. While prompt vaccination is likely to prevent infection, infection may occur in those who receive vaccination too late. Patrons who develop symptoms should call their provider and ask for a hepatitis A test.

Vaccination is the best way to prevent disease. Infection can be prevented by vaccination after a known exposure to a person with infectious hepatitis A. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems might benefit from receiving immune globulin (IG) in addition to hepatitis A vaccination for prevention after an exposure. For any questions about hepatitis A or the need for immune globulin, Public Health recommends that you speak to your primary care provider. If you do not have a regular provider, call 2-1-1 for assistance.

Public Health will continue monitoring all known individuals who may have been exposed to individuals ill with hepatitis A.

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 $850 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.

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