July 2, 2022

Hepatitis A Exposure at Sea Salt Lobster Restaurant in Saco, Maine

A possible hepatitis A exposure at the Sea Salt Lobster Restaurant Saco, Maine may have exposed customers to the virus, according to a press release from the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That employee worked there and handled food while infectious from May 12, 2020 to May 23, 2020.

Hepatitis A Exposure at Sea Salt Lobster Restaurant in Saco, Maine

Unfortunately, it’s too late for anyone who may have been exposed to receive the hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination, since the vaccine is only effective if given with 14 days of exposure. The advisory is extended to anyone who had take-out, delivery, or curbside pickup of food from the restaurant. The issue is that anyone who is infected will not show symptoms until at least two weeks have passed after infection.

Anyone who may have been exposed at the Sea Salt Lobster Restaurant should watch for symptoms of the illness, which can appear from 15 to 50 days after exposure. Those symptoms include fever, jaundice, nausea, light clay-colored stools, dark urine, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain and discomfort, vomiting, and loss of appetite. The risk of infection is low.

Anyone who develops those symptoms should see their doctor. Hepatitis A is a reportable condition, so the doctor will report the case to Maine health officials. Anyone who has been vaccinated or has had the illness is assumed to be immune to the virus.

The best way to prevent the spread of this very contagious virus is to be vaccinated against it. Most public health officials suggest that anyone who works with the public, including teachers, healthcare workers, and restaurant workers, be vaccinated.

Other ways to prevent transmission are to stay home from work when ill, especially with a diarrheal illness, and to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after going to the bathroom, taking care of someone who is sick, and preparing food.

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