October 25, 2016

Oahu Hepatitis A Outbreak Expands, 74 Now Sick

Hepatitis A virus

A Hepatitis A outbreak on Oahu has expanded to include 74 people, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. Twenty six people have been hospitalized.

Onset of illness dates range from June 12 to July 14. All but two of those sickened, who live on the islands of Hawaii and Maui, live on Oahu. But all were on Oahu when thy were exposed to the virus.

Two food workers are among those sickened. One of them worked at Baskin-Robbins in Waikele Center on June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016;the other at Taco Bell  Waipio,  94-790 Ukee Street, on June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016.

Health officials are interviewing those sickened to determined where they were exposed. Hepatitis A has a long incubation period, which poses a challenge for investigators.

Symptoms of a Hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes. These symptoms last between three to eight weeks. Sometimes people who are infected show no symptoms.

A vaccination can prevent the onset of illness if administered within the first two weeks after exposure. Anyone who has symptoms or has been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed should see a doctor and talk about the vaccine.

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