October 23, 2018

Maine CDC: Guess Which Restaurant Exposed You to Hepatitis A?

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Do you have clay-colored stools, dark urine, fever, jaundice, yellow eyes, abdominal cramping and weight loss? If so, you have Hepatitis A and should see a doctor. If you have these symptoms and also spent time in Cumberland County, Maine from September 29 though October 11, you likely got the virus from a restaurant you ate at. But don’t ask the Maine CDC which one, because they aren’t saying.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) issued an advisory yesterday stating that the agency had “identified a case of acute hepatitis A virus infection in a Cumberland County food service worker.” They are encouraging health care providers to be on the lookout for the above symptoms. 

Hepatitis A is a virus that is transmitted when food contaminated with microscopic amounts of feces from an infected person is consumed by others.  Symptoms usually take 15 to 50 days after exposure to appear, but a  person is considered infectious  two weeks prior to and one week after the onset of symptoms .

A post-exposure prophylaxis can prevent symptoms if taken within  14 days of exposure, but for diners at the unnamed Cumberland County restaurant it’s too late for that. There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A, the viral infection generally resolves on its own within six months, but doctors can help to alleviate symptoms.

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