November 18, 2017

Two Cases of Hepatitis A in Portland, Oregon

The Multnomah County Health Department is investigating two confirmed cases of hepatitis A in restaurant workers at two Cup & Saucer Cafes in Portland, Oregon. Since that virus is so contagious, anyone who ate or drank there during a certain time period may have been exposed.

Hepatitis A

Health officials say that anyone who ate or drank at the Cup & Saucer Cafe, 8237 N. Denver, from March 22 to March 29, 2017 or at the Cup & Saucer Cafe at 3566 S.E. Hawthorne cafe on March 22 or March 25, 2017  should contact their healthcare provider immediately. You may need to be vaccinated or receive other preventive care. There are no cases involving the Cafe at 3000 N.E. Killingsworth.

In addition, anyone who ate or drank at the North Denver location between February 21 and March 21, 2017, should contact their doctor if they have any symptoms of hepatitis A. It has been too long since that potential exposure time period to get a vaccination against the virus.

A case of hepatitis A was reported to the Health Department on March 20, 2017. Health officials vaccinated the restaurant staff according to public health guidelines. On Monday, April 3, 2017, another employee was confirmed as having the disease.

A hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. After that time period, someone could show symptoms of the illness within 50 days. You can get more information about where to get help at a page on the Multnomah County Health Department website.

Vaccinations are available through the Multnomah County Immunization Clinic at 426 SW Stark Street in Portland from April 5-7 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, April 8 at 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and April 10-12 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. If you don’t have insurance, the fee is $21.96 per shot. But no one will be denied access to the vaccine if you are unable to pay.

the symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, lethargy, tiredness, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), vomiting, diarrhea, clay-colored stools, and dark urine. Symptoms can begin 2 weeks to 50 days after exposure to the virus. The virus is very contagious, and you can get sick by swallowing it in contaminated food and drink, from person-to-person contact, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

You can prevent the spread of this infection by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or taking care of someone who is sick. People can spread the illness two weeks before they even show any symptoms. And do not go to work or school if you have been diagnosed with this disease or if you have a diarrheal illness.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is by being vaccinated. If you have had the illness in the past, you have immunity. Hepatitis A vaccinations are required for Oregon children up to eighth grade.  In fact, vaccinations have reduced the rate of hepatitis A cases in Oregon from a high of 2,927 in 1995 to 95 cases from 2012 to 2016.

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