September 26, 2018

Worker at Meijer in Michigan Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

A bakery food worker at the Meijer store in Mount Pleasant Michigan has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture and Rural Development Anyone who ate baked goods made on-site at that store in late August and in September may have been exposed to the virus.

Hepatitis A

The store is located at 1015 Pickard Street in Mount Pleasant. The worker made the products between August 23 and September 20, 2017. The baked goods have a Meijer Bakery label, and include individual items such as single doughnuts and rolls from the self-serve case.

If you have any products from that store in your home, they should be discarded. Freezing doesn’t kill the hepatitis A virus.

No illnesses have been identified from this exposure so far. The time from exposure to illness onset is about 15 to 50 days. Anyone who has liver disease and gets this illness is at risk of liver failure.

If you ate a product from that bakery after September 8, 2017, you can get a vaccination against hepatitis A. The shot is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. Public health officials are working with Meijer to provide vaccines to bakery employees. A vaccine may be available at some pharmacies in Michigan.

Meijer is offering the vaccine free of charge at its Mount Pleasant location to any Meijer employees or customers who are concerned about exposure. If you have had hepatitis A or have received two doses of the vaccine, you don’t need to be immunized for hepatitis A again. You can call the Central Michigan District Health Department with questions or if you need help locating the vaccination.

The symptoms of a hepatitis A infection include abdominal pain, dark urine, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). Most people are sick for a few weeks, but some may be ill for months. And unfortunately, people are infectious for two weeks before symptoms appear.

If you have experienced these symptoms, stay home from work or school and see your doctor. Frequent hand washing can help prevent the spread of this illness. Cooking foods contaminated with the virus kills it.

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