The Hawaii State Department of Health has confirmed two new cases of hepatitis A in a food service employee at the Kapolei Chili’s restaurant and a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant.
DOH says that there have been no infections have been linked to exposure at these businesses at this time and they are not sources of the outbreak.
“The most infectious period for this disease may be as much as two weeks before the onset of symptoms – before the individual even knows he or she is sick,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said in a press release.
In previous alerts, the health department released food establishments when employees were found to have hepatitis A due to the possible risk. Hawaiian Airlines was named because the infected crew member served inflight food and beverages to passengers.
Hawaiian Airlines has set up a webpage for detailed information on affected flights and other support available. The individual was on flights between July 1 and July 26, primarily on Neighbor Island and North America routes.
Hawaiian Airlines says that if a guest on a flights determines, in consultation with a medical provider, that screening and/or vaccination are needed, the airline will reimburse reasonable out-of-pocket expenses upon submission of documentation.
If you were not on one of the flights listed below, no action is necessary. Hawaiian Airlines says it has no other reported cases among staff and is proactively screening all crew who worked with this crewmember before they return to duty.
Persons who consumed food or beverage products from these businesses during the identified periods may have been exposed to the disease and are recommended to:
- Contact their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG), which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within two weeks after exposure.
- Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
- Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
- Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.
The health department encourages the public to talk to their healthcare providers about vaccination. A statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies is available at this link (PDF) at or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.
Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes. Individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.
While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.
For additional information about hepatitis A go to http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.
|07/08/16||8||Honolulu||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|07/10/16||7||Las Vegas, Nevada||Honolulu|