WQAD reports that Trinity Regional Health System is making an $80,000 "contribution" toward the cost of Rock Island County’s vaccination expenses arising out of this summer’s Hepatitis-A outbreak.   The outbreak, which sickened more than 30 people, was traced to an ill worker at the Milan, Illinois McDonald’s.  In an effort to limit illness, the County provided

The Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department has released a report stating that Trinity Regional Health System failed to properly notify county health officials of the first of at least 26 Hepatitis A illnesses related to the outbreak at the Milan McDonald’s.  The outbreak also required over 5,000 McDonald’s patrons to obtain shots to avoid falling

 The recent hepatitis A outbreak at a McDonalds in Milan, Illinois, has claimed at least 26 victims, and has caused the local health departments to innoculate 5,366 people, hopefully catching these folks in the modest window of time to prevent an infected person from becoming ill.  This raises a number of questions that we plan to find answers to.  

First, at what cost does this innoculation program come to the affected counties?  Not good timing, likely, considering the budgeting woes around the country.  Second, how many people are "out of the woods"–i.e., people who were infected at McDonalds, but who received their innoculations in time to prevent the onset of symptoms.  And finally, perhaps most importantly, what is the real human toll of this outbreak.  

As is the case with an illness caused by any bacteria or virus, colloquially called "food poisoning," many people pass off even hepatitis A as some diarrhea, some vomiting, maybe a little jaundice too, and the victim recovers.  True for some, but those would be the lucky ones . . . the exceptions to the rule.  More typically, hepatitis A causes weeks, if not months, of symptoms.  Ask anybody who has been unlucky enough to fall victim.  The fatigue is debilitating.  The illness (vomiting, nausea, etc.) is sometimes so extreme for so long that people miss enough work to lose their jobs.  And the jaundice that typically signifies that "youre on the mend" sometimes causes such embarrasment that victims won’t go out in public.  

But that’s just the "typical" hepatitis A illness.  We have represented many people who have had not-so-typical illnesses.  Here is a brief medical synopsis of how the virus can cause catastrophic liver failure (fulminant hepatitis), requiring liver transplantation for survival, or potentially causing death.

Fulminant hepatitis kills nearly 100 people each year in the United States. Among reported cases for all ages, the fatality rate is approximately 0.3%. This figure, however, increases with age. For sufferers of fulminant hepatitis over 40 years old, the fatality rate is approximately 2%.  Continue Reading Foodborne Hepatitis and Catastrophic Liver Failure

WQAD reported today on a Rock Island County Sheriffs Department investigation into the hepatitis A outbreak in the Quad-Cities area. The outbreak has thus far resulted in at least 25 confirmed hepatitis A cases since June, most allegedly linked to the consumption of food and beverages served at the Milan McDonald’s restaurant, where “patient zero” worked

Customers who ate at Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler on the Rosedale Highway in Bakersfield, California, between January 4 and January 10 are being warned that they may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.  The Kern County Health Department issued a press release stating that customers who ate at the restaurant between those dates