The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has identified three additional cases of hepatitis A virus infection in Aroostook County since the last update on June 18, 2019. There is now a total of nine confirmed hepatitis A cases in Aroostook County since May 17, 2019. All nine cases are linked to exposures at a restaurant (Burger Boy) in Caribou. There is no ongoing risk to the public from eating at this restaurant, nor is there any ongoing risk to the public as a result of the original case.

Close contacts of affected individuals have been notified and Maine CDC is closely monitoring these cases. However, symptoms of hepatitis A can take weeks to develop. Health care providers are encouraged to remain vigilant for hepatitis A infection.

Anyone who visited this restaurant is now outside the window for which post-exposure prophylaxis is recommended but should watch for symptoms and seek medical attention if symptoms develop. Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, contagious liver disease caused by 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 six years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. If you develop symptoms of hepatitis A, please contact your healthcare provider.

This disease usually spreads when a person ingests the virus from contaminated objects, food, or drinks. It can also spread from close contact with an infected person such as caring for someone who is ill.

Outside of these circumstances, the risk of infection is extremely low. Hepatitis A is not spread through casual contact, such as shaking hands or being in the same room as an infected individual.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated. Other preventive measures include practicing good hand hygiene – thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food. We also recommend that all food service workers get vaccinated for hepatitis A.

Maine CDC Public Health Nurses have assisted local medical facilities to administer hepatitis A vaccine, and the Maine CDC Immunization Program has provided hepatitis A vaccine to Aroostook County health care facilities. Maine CDC will continue to post periodic updates on this situation.

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 $650 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.