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    August 2016
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Hepatitis A Outbreak in Hawaii Climbs to 206 Reported Cases

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is continuing to investigate a cluster of hepatitis A infections in the state.

As of August 17, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 38 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 51 have required hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Nine (9) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and one visitor has returned to the mainland.


Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 8/9/16.

On August 15, 2016, HDOH identified raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai as the likely source of the ongoing outbreak. The product of concern is Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) that originated in the Philippines (states “Product of the Philippines” on the box), distributed by Koha Oriental Foods. As a result, HDOH ordered this product embargoed (not to be sold, purchased, or consumed) throughout the state, and the temporary closure of all Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai.


The scallops received by True World Foods have not been distributed to any restaurants in the state, and were embargoed at their warehouse. The scallops served at Genki locations on the Big Island and Maui originated from a different supplier and have not been associated with the outbreak.

The outbreak investigation is ongoing.   It continues to be challenging because of the long incubation period of the disease (15 to 50 days) and the difficulty patients have in accurately recalling the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place.

Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected.

HDOH encourages Hawaii residents to consider getting vaccinated for hepatitis A, and advises that they talk to their healthcare provider about hepatitis A if they are interested. Vaccination for hepatitis A is strongly recommended for certain individuals who are especially at risk (see HERE for a CDC list of groups recommended to be vaccinated for hepatitis A).

Hawaii residents are also advised that the demand for the vaccine during the outbreak has led to varied supply levels around the state, so it is recommended that they call ahead to assure the vaccine is available at a particular clinic or pharmacy before going there.

The Hawaii Department of Health is conducting a case control study to determine what food items served at a local restaurant chain might have led to the increase in hepatitis A infections in Hawaii. We are looking for individuals who ate at Genki Sushi after April 23, 2016 and have not been ill with hepatitis A.

Your assistance is extremely important. We are using this survey to obtain contact information for individuals who would be willing to participate in the study.  Selected individuals will be contacted by phone in the next 1-2 weeks and interviewed about particular foods eaten at Genki Sushi restaurant(s). Participation is voluntary and, if selected, should take about 30 minutes.  Your personal information will be kept confidential and will not be shared outside of the investigative team.


Click here to take the survey

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