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State investigates cluster of hepatitis A cases on Oahu

At least 12 adults on Oahu were diagnosed with hepatitis A infection in the second half of June, six of whom needed hospitalization, the Health Department announced today.

Officials are investigating the cluster of cases. The virus is usually spread through contaminated food or water or close personal contact.

“Hepatitis A infection is a vaccine-preventable disease, and fortunately, most children and adolescents have been vaccinated as part of routine childhood vaccination recommendations,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, state health director. “However, many adults have not been vaccinated and remain susceptible.”

Hepatitis A is found in the stool. It can cause fever, diarrhea, fatigue and yellow skin and eyes. Symptoms usually last several weeks. People who show symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said health care providers have been asked to notify the department of cases.

“Treatment for hepatitis A infection is supportive only, and while most people will recover without complications, we are encouraging everyone to review their immunization record and talk to their health-care provider about vaccination,” Park said.

Washing hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom and before preparing food can help prevent spread of the disease. Cooking food to the right temperature is also helpful.

Two doses of hepatitis A are given at least six months apart. Call Aloha United Way’s information line at 2-1-1 to locate a pharmacy offering vaccines or find a list online and more information about the disease at the Department of Health’s website.

Online:

http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/hepatitis-a/

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  • Other outlets said from different parts of the island so no known association but they are following a possible link to contaminated poke/ahi.

  • Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is highly contagious. It is usually transmitted by the fecal-oral route, either through person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water.

    Well there you go. Fecal to oral route.

      • Here we go again, like in a Seinfeld episode, Poppy again is a bit sloppy where a local food prepper or server, is sick, got the runs, still goes to work and does not wash his hands after his p and poo and then serves or does food prep for an eating establishment or caterer. The article mentions ‘cluster’, so they could narrow it down on where all these people might have ate at the same place or attended some common event or shopped at the same food market or wherever. The last situation that made front page news was a few years ago when some sick food handler/preparer at the Royal Hwn hotel with bad diarear who was dropping dirty bombs in the bathroom, not thoroughly washing his hands and then handling food dishes that spread his disease to quite a few of the restaurant patrons.

        • PS: Had to look it up; at the Royal Hawaiian it was norovirus and about 100 people got sick

  • SA and DOH – WHERE is this outbreak so we can all stay away or go to the doctor if we were in that area/business???

    Thanks for nothing.

    • I agree. What lame newswriting by this reporter. It would be nice to know what geographical area is involved so citizens can avoid that particular place.

  • You know, the homeless openly brag about dumping human waste in the streets.

    And the government does nothing about it, so it’s unsurprising that they aren’t saying where this is occurring.

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