Hawaii Department of Health investigating possible case of hepatitis A infection in Wah Kung Restaurant employee

Posted on Jan 18, 2018 in Latest News

 

Hawaii Department of Health investigating possible case of

hepatitis A infection in Wah Kung Restaurant employee

 

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating a possible case of hepatitis A infection in a food service employee. This case is unrelated to the earlier cases identified by DOH on Jan. 5, 2018.

 

During the potential infectious period, the individual worked as a food service employee at Wah Kung Restaurant, located at 1151 Mapunapuna Street in Honolulu, from Dec. 1, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018. At this time, no infections have been linked to exposure at this business. DOH is providing this information to prevent possible new cases.

 

DOH advises persons who consumed food or beverages from this establishment during the identified period (Dec. 1, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018) to:

  1. 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 (i.e., within two weeks of consuming food or beverages at or from this restaurant).
  2. Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
  3. Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
  4. Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.

 

“Given the clinical and laboratory findings, we suspect this individual may be infected with hepatitis A,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “Because of the limited two-week window to prevent infection among those potentially exposed, we are alerting the public as a precaution. We encourage people to take appropriate action to protect their health and prevent possible new cases in our community.”

 

The virus is found in the stool of people with hepatitis A infection and is usually spread through close personal or sexual contact as well as by consuming contaminated food or drinking water. Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes. 

 

Vaccination provides the best protection. Additionally, persons should frequently wash their hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food to help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

 

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease_listing/hepatitis-a/.

 

To locate a vaccinating pharmacy or clinic, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/vaccines-immunizations/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at    2-1-1.

 

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Gail Ogawa

Disease Outbreak Control Division

Phone: (808) 586-8358