The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed an additional case of hepatitis A on Oahu in a food service worker at Tamashiro Market, located at 802 N. King St. in Honolulu. The employee worked from July 2-23, 2016 (actual dates: July 2, 4, 6–8, 11–13, 15–19, and 23).
The department is continuing its investigation of cases and at this time, no food establishment or business has been identified as a source of the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak. There have been no new cases linked to exposure at businesses where workers who handled food or drink were identified, however, the information is provided to prevent possible new cases. The likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low.
“Tamashiro Market is not at fault for this, but given that much of what is sold there is typically prepared and purchased raw, it is important to inform the public of possible exposure,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “This business understands that public health is our primary concern, and they have been working with us to help prevent new cases.”
Persons who consumed food or beverage products prepared or served at this business 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 water frequently and thoroughly, especially (a) after using the bathroom or changing a diaper and (b) before preparing food.
- Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.
The public is encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers about Hepatitis A vaccination. For a statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf 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 and thorough handwashing with soap after using the bathroom or changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.
For the complete list of food service establishments who have had employees diagnosed with hepatitis A infection, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.
Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.