A food service worker at the Social Kitchen and Bar in Birmingham, Michigan, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, with the Oakland County Health Division and the Wayne County Wellness Services Division have identified the infection. That restaurant is located at 225 East Maple Road in Birmingham.
Anyone who consumed any food or drinks at that establishment between July 16, 2016 and August 6, 2016 may have been exposed to the virus. The hepatitis A and immune globulin vaccinations available for this virus are only good if given within two weeks of exposure, so anyone who visited the restaurant before July 28, 2016 is no longer eligible for the shot.
People who have had hepatitis A before or have been vaccinated with two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine do not need to be immunized again. The hepatitis A vaccination may be available at some major pharmacies in Michigan; otherwise, contact your healthcare provider.
The time from exposure to the virus to illness onset is usually 15 to 30 days. Most people are sick for several weeks to several months. The only treatment for this illness is supportive. Most people will recover without complications, but some, especially those over the age of 60 and people with liver disease, could suffer liver failure.
Frequent hand washing with soap and water is the best way to prevent the spread of this virus, which is very contagious. Cooking foods to the proper final temperature will also help kill the virus. If you are ill, especially with this infection, stay home and do not prepared food for or serve food to others.
The symptoms of hepatitis A include dark urine, lethargy, fatigue, clay colored stools, jaundice, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, a low grade fever, and vomiting. Most people feel sick for a few weeks, but some, especially those with liver disease and others with chronic illnesses, could become seriously ill and be sick for months. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please see your doctor.
If you have questions, contact the Oakland Health Division at 800-848-5533 Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The Wayne County Wellness Services Division can be reached at 734-727-7078 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.