The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed an additional case of hepatitis A in a food service employee on Oahu.
The infected case worked at Chart House Restaurant, located at 1765 Ala Moana Boulevard in Honolulu on Sept. 1–4 and 8–11, 2016.
“The cause of the outbreak has been identified as frozen scallops that were served uncooked, but the long period of incubation, up to 50 days, means we could see cases of hepatitis A into October,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “We will continue to inform the public regarding infected food handlers so that customers who may have been exposed during those service dates can consult their healthcare provider, especially if exposure was in the past two weeks and the customer might still be able to receive vaccination or immune globulin to prevent infection.”
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 that 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. 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 go to: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/infectious-disease-surveillance/handwashing.