September 27, 2020

Saco House of Pizza Food Worker Diagnosed with Hepatitis A in Maine

A Saco House of Pizza food worker has been diagnosed with hepatitis A in Saco, Maine, according to the Maine Centers for Disease Control.  The employee was not in charge of preparing food, but did handle food while infectious from August 5, 2020 through August 21, 2020 and had access to food in the kitchen.

Saco House of Pizza Food Worker Diagnosed with Hepatitis A in Maine

Anyone who visited that venue on August 20 and August 21, 2020 is still eligible for a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination if they are vaccinated today or tomorrow. The vaccine is only effective if given within 14 days of exposure. This recommendation includes anyone who may have had dine-in, take-out, delivery, or curbside pickup of food from the restaurant.

Everyone else who was at the Saco House of Pizza from August 5, 2020 through August 19, 2020 needs to monitor their health for the symptoms of hepatitis A. Health care workers are also encouraged to be on the lookout for these symptoms and to ask anyone who presents with these symptoms about consumption of food from this restaurant during that time frame.

Hepatitis A is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, usually through contaminated food or water. Symptoms usually start 15 to 50 days after exposure, and unfortunately a person who is infected is infectious two weeks before symptoms begin.

These symptoms include fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), nausea, vomiting, pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, dark urine, lethargy, light clay color-red stools, and weight loss. All cases of suspected and confirmed hepatitis A should be reported to the disease reporting and consultation line at 1-800-821-5821.

The best way to prevent these infections is to get vaccinated. People can also help stop the spread by washing their hands well with soap and water after going to the bathroom, taking care of someone who is sick, and preparing food. In addition, stay home from work or school if you are sick, especially with a diarrheal illness.

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