According to press reports, one person sickened by an outbreak of hepatitis A last month at the Mendham Golf and Tennis Club has died, the New Jersey Department of Health reported Monday.

The outbreak, traced to an infected food handler at the Mendham Township club between June 9 and June 30, was first reported in an advisory letter sent to township residents on July 5.

Department of Health spokeswoman Donna Leusner said the department does not determine the cause of death in outbreaks, and does not release medical information, but confirmed one death among the 27 confirmed cases related to the outbreak.

A letter to club members recommended that anyone who dined at the club between June 9 and June 30 should seek advice from their medical provider.

“Secondary cases related to the food handler may develop until August. 19, 2019, which is 50 days from the date the food handler was last infectious,” a Mendham Township fact sheet advised.

The infectious liver disease can, in some cases, lead to liver failure. Individuals who have been exposed, but have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, may receive a “post-exposure prophylaxis” in the form of an injection of vaccine or immune globulin.

During the July 25 inspection, health department officials also provided the club’s staff with further instruction on food handling, employee hygiene, food storage, dating of foods, “and other pertinent regulatory items.”

Officials also requested increased cleaning of restroom facilities and possible fomites (such as doorknobs and common surfaces) and scheduled an onsite food handling class held Aug. 6. That training included interactive activity with food handlers to emphasize the importance of handwashing.

Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of infected people, according to a New Jersey Department of Health fact sheet. People become infected by swallowing the virus, which can happen when infected people do not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom, then touch food that is eaten by someone else.

Some people who contract hepatitis A may show no initial symptoms. Others may experience symptoms including fever, fatigue, stomach pain, diarrhea, poor appetite, vomiting, dark yellow urine and yellow skin or eyes (jaundice).

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.