March 28, 2020

Hepatitis A Outbreak Associated With 555 East American Steakhouse in Long Beach

A hepatitis A outbreak is associated with 555 East American Steakhouse in downtown Long Beach, California, according to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services. Several cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed in people who ate at that restaurant on or around December 24, 2019. The notice from the health department did not state the number of patients, their ages, or illness onset dates.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Associated With 555 East American Steakhouse in Long Beach

Unfortunately, it’s now too late for those who may have been exposed to the virus to get the immune globulin or hepatitis A vaccine that can protect them. Those vaccines are effective if given within two weeks of exposure. Still, if you were at 555 East American Steakhouse around Christmas and are concerned, contact your doctor about immunization against hepatitis A.

The source of the illness is under investigation and the restaurant is cooperating with officials to prevent further illness. The statement says that the restaurant does not pose an ongoing risk to the public at this time.

Dr. Anissa Davis City Health Officer, said in a statement, “We are notifying the public of the exposure so that people can immediately seek medical care if they begin to develop symptoms.Individuals who have been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have had the disease are protected. Those who are not immune to hepatitis A should consult their medical provider if they develop symptoms, and let their provider know they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.”

Symptoms of hepatitis A can appear 15 to 50 days after exposure. These symptoms include dark urine, clay-colored stools, fatigue, low grade fever, pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, lethargy, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, and jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and the skin.)

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help if you have contracted hepatitis A by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

This virus is passed through person-to-person contact through the fecal-oral route, or through consumption of contaminated food and water. It can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces, then eating or touching your mouth. Most people recover completely after this illness, but some people, especially those with liver disease or compromised immune systems, may need to be hospitalized and can even die.

The best way to prevent the spread of this illness is through vaccination. People should also always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom and before working in the kitchen, and should stay home when they are sick.

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