September 28, 2016

Food Worker at Benjamin Parker School in Kaneohe, HI Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

The principal of Benjamin Parker Elementary School in Kaneohe, Hawaii has sent a letter to parents telling them that a cafeteria kitchen worker has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. That person worked in the kitchen from August 28 to 30, 2016. All meals will be prepared offsite until further notice. All children should have been vaccinated against hepatitis A as part of routine childhood vaccinations. Any child who is vaccinated is immune to the illness caused by this virus. But any children who have not previously been vaccinated should be seen by their pediatrician for a discussion about a vaccination. The letter was sent out too late to warn parents and get their children vaccinated if they were not, since the shots are only effective if given within 14 days of exposure to the … [Read more...]

Hawaii Scallop Hepatitis A Outbreak Grows to 276 Sick

The hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that is linked to raw scallops imported from the Philippines served at Genki Sushi restaurants has grown by five more this week. That brings the total sickened to 276. All of the cases are in adults. Sixty-eight people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, about 24.6%. On August 15, 2016, public health officials discovered the hepatitis A virus in Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) from the Philippines that were distributed by Koha Oriental Foods and sold at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. Food workers at six restaurants and two flight attendants for Hawaiian Airlines have also been diagnosed with this illness. The restaurants and the airline are not the source of this outbreak, and no illnesses have been linked to … [Read more...]

Another Hawaii Restaurant Food Worker Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

The Hawaii state Department of Health says that another restaurant worker has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. That person worked at Ohana Seafood at Sam's Club at 1000 Kamehameha Highway in Pearl City, Oahu from August 29 through September 11, 2016. The hepatitis A outbreak that has been plaguing Hawaii for the last few months is not associated with this restaurant or any of the restaurants that have had a sick worker. The outbreak has been linked to scallops imported from the Philippines that were served raw at Genki Sushi restaurants. But anyone who ate at that restaurant during the time frame indicated may have been exposed to hepatitis A. If you ate there after September 2, 2016, you can get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination, which is only effective if given … [Read more...]

Hawaii Harbor Restaurant Worker Has Hepatitis A

According to the Hawaii State Department of Health, a food worker at Harbor Restaurant on Pier 38 at 1133 North Nimitz Highway in Honolulu, Oahu has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. That person worked at the restaurant from August 26 through September 12, 2016. There is a hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that has sickened at least 271 people, but public health officials stress that the Harbor Restaurant is not the source of the outbreak, and no illnesses have been linked to that facility. Still, anyone who ate there on the dates in question may have been exposed to hepatitis A, since the virus is very contagious and easily spread through food and drink. That hepatitis A outbreak has been linked to frozen scallops imported from the Philippines, that were served raw at Genki Sushi … [Read more...]

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Scallops Rises to 271

The hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that is linked to raw scallops imported from the Philippines has increased to 271 people sick. That is an increase of 19 new cases in the last week. All of those sickened have been adults. Sixty-eight people have been hospitalized because their illnesses are so severe. Onset of illness dates have ranged from 6/12/16 to 9/4/16. Investigators found the hepatitis A virus in raw Sea Port Bay Scallops from the Philippines that were served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. The scallops were imported by Kohn Oriental Foods and distributed in that state. The scallops have been embargoed and are no longer being sold. But the incubation period of this illness is quite long, up to 50 days, and is easily spread person to person. That means this … [Read more...]

Genki Sushi Hawaii Restaurants Reopen After Hepatitis A Outbreak

The Hawaii State Department of Health has cleared Genki Sushi restaurants to open after a hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen imported raw scallops sickened more than 250 people. The press release, issued on September 9, 2016, states that the establishments "completed extensive sanitizing of their facilities, disposal of potentially affected items, and medical screening of employees for Hepatitis A." Dr. Virginia Pressler, Health Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health said in a statement, "The management team of Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai has given us their full cooperation, and the department is confident that they are in compliance with all health regulations. Genki Sushi has been cleared by the Department of Health to reopen to the public." The … [Read more...]

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Stands at 252 Sick

The Hawaii Department of Health has updated their investigation into the hepatitis A outbreak in that state. As of September 7, 2016, 252 people have been sickened. That is an increase of 11 new cases since last Wednesday. All of the cases have been in adults. Sixty-six people have required hospitalization because their illnesses are so severe. Illness onset dates have ranged between 6/12/16 to 8/30/16. On August 15, 2016, the government identified raw scallops, imported from the Philippines, that were served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai as a likely source of the outbreak. The product, Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) was distributed by Koha Oriental Foods. Because the incubation period of this particular virus can be so long, and because the virus … [Read more...]

Zippy’s Restaurant Employee in Oahu has Hepatitis A

The Hawaii Department of Health is confirming that a food service worker at Zippy's Restaurant in Oahu has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. That is the eighth restaurant with a contagious food service worker, in the middle of a large hepatitis A outbreak. The restaurant is located at 950 Kamokila Boulevard in Kapolei, Oahu. None of the restaurants involved are linked to the outbreak. The source was confirmed as frozen scallops, served raw at Genki Sushi restaurants in Hawaii, that were imported from the Philippines. But the virus is very contagious. Any time a food worker is diagnosed with the illness, a large segment of the public could have been exposed to the virus. The worker was at Zippy's restaurant on August 14, 2016, and August 18 to the 19th, 2016. Anyone who ate or … [Read more...]

Hawaii Scallop Hepatitis A Outbreak Sickens 228

The hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii linked to imported frozen raw scallops has now sickened 228 people, according to an update by the Hawaii Department of Health. That is an increase of 22 cases since last week. All of the cases have been in adults. Fifty-eight people have been hospitalized because the illnesses are so severe. Illness onset dates have ranged from 6/12/16 to 8/16/16. There will probably be more cases identified in the coming weeks, since the incubation period for the virus is 2 weeks to 50 days, and the the product believed responsible for the outbreak stopped being sold in mid-August. The source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Public health inspectors found that raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on the islands of Oahu and Kauai were the likely … [Read more...]

How Does Hepatitis A Get on Strawberries?

The hepatitis A outbreak in Virginia that is linked to strawberries imported from Egypt and allegedly used in smoothies sold at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in that state is raising questions about how the virus is transmitted. The hepatitis A virus is very hardy and contagious. But how does it get on fruit? In 2013, a large nationwide hepatitis A (HAV) outbreak sickened at least 165 people. Those illnesses were linked to Townsend Farms frozen berries that were sold at Costco stores. Traceback investigations found that pomegranates in that product, imported from Goknur, Turkey, were the source of the virus. The genotype of hepatitis A in that outbreak was very rare on the American continent, but common in the Middle East. The food and drinks that are most likely to be … [Read more...]

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