DOH NEWS RELEASE: Hepatitis A infection in food service worker at Ohana Seafood in Sam’s Club Pearl City

Posted on Sep 15, 2016 in Latest News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today confirmed an additional case of hepatitis A in an Oahu food service worker. The infected case is an employee at Ohana Seafood, the seafood vendor located within the Sam’s Club warehouse store at 1000 Kamehameha Highway, Pearl City. Food handled by the employee may have been sold from August 29 to September 11, 2016.

“We expect to continue seeing new cases of hepatitis A infection through at least early October because of the long incubation period for this illness, even though the source of the outbreak has been identified as contaminated scallops,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “While this case involves a food handler working with raw seafood, the food handler is another victim, and none of the products sold by Ohana Seafood at Sam’s Club have been identified as a source of the ongoing outbreak.”

As with previous cases of food handlers who have tested positive for hepatitis A, DOH is providing this information to the public as a precaution in an attempt to prevent any new cases. The likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low. To date, DOH has confirmed a total of 271 cases of hepatitis A as part of this outbreak investigation. Updated case counts and information are provided each Wednesday along with a complete list of food service establishments, which have had employees diagnosed with hepatitis infection within the past 50 days at the following link: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016.

Vaccination provides the best protection from hepatitis A, so any person who consumed food or beverage products prepared or served at this business during the identified periods may want to contact their healthcare providers about receiving a vaccine or immune globulin (IG). This may provide some protection against the disease if administered within two weeks after exposure. A statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies can be found at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or by calling the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Help prevent the spread of hepatitis A by washing your hands often and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food. For more information on proper handwashing, please go to the following site: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/infectious-disease-surveillance/handwashing.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Jonathan Hilts

Disease Outbreak Control Division

Phone: (808) 587-6596

Email: jonathan.hilts@doh.hawaii.gov