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Waikele ice cream store worker confirmed to have hepatitis A

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    Patrons of a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in Waikele Center during the last two months may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus after one ofthe store’s employees was confirmed to have the disease.

Patrons of a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in Waikele Center during the last two months may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus after one of the store’s employees was confirmed to have the disease, the state Health Department said today.

People who haven’t had the hepaptitis A vaccine or immune globulin and who consumed any food or drinks from the Waikele store on June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3 should contact their healthcare providers about getting vaccinated, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure, the Health Department said in a news release.

There have been 52 cases of hepatitis A reported to and now confirmed by health officials.

All cases have been in adults on Oahu, 16 have required hospitalization.

“The source of this outbreak has still not been determined. In the meantime, we encourage all persons consider and talk to their healthcare provider about getting vaccinated,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “This case demonstrates the potential to spread hepatitis A virus to many others who remain susceptible. In an effort to stem the spread of disease, individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A infection should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.”

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes, and typically last several weeks to as long as two months. Treatment of hepatitis A is supportive, and most people will recover without complications.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A vaccine is readily available at local pharmacies. Two doses of hepatitis A vaccine, given at least six months apart, are needed for protection. For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at

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  • Anybody know where on Oahu the other 51 cases have been found? Are most of them within a particular area? Are most of them people who know and work with each other?

  • Was it intentional or stupid? What errors led to this unfortunate transmission. Spreader vaccinated? Victims vaccinated? How exactly does a virus get from the toilet onto ice cream? Immigrant? What races are the carrier and victimsr? All questions the DOH needs to get answered and catalogued so a complete report can be transmitted to the CDC. It’s called Epidemiology. Excellent job Dr. Sarah Park and same to all the investigators who contributed to solving this serious problem. You’re all really good.

    • They haven’t made much progress in “solving this serious problem”. They need to find out what the source was and how it’s spreading. They haven’t even provided any information on the areas where the cases are located.

  • Exposure for 2 months certainly is a long time so the infection can be further spread by those that not aware that they have been exposed. Where did this individual come from and where did he contact it. Was he aware that he was infected? If yes, question this individual’s integrity as a responsible person of his community. What about his family? Are they also carriers?

  • Glad they pinpointed possible source! Hopefully the DOH will confirm whether or not the infected ppl ate at Baskin Robbins. Good question, BLUNT, how DOES Hep. A travel from toilet to ice cream scoops? Gross to imagine….

    • I’m not sure, but, maybe when she touched the cup for ice cream or shake, soda, etc. The paper money or coins she gave as change. The spoon she gave the customer. You touch what she touched, then, you eat something. I was in the BBQ restaurant right next door and saw a couple come in with their drinks from B&R and they ordered food from the restaurant. I’m only guessing about how it can be transferred. There’s several eateries right next to B&R, so, if people ate at the restaurants and got dessert from B&R, they may be affected. I HOPE NOT…

  • Believe me, If you have Hepatitis… you won’t have to worry about calling in sick… you’ll have to be hauled away in an ambulance.

  • I thought they found the smoking gun but all they found was a victim that reported the illness that worked at Baskin and Robbins. I wonder where everybody else works?

  • So the B/R employee caught it from someone else? Hope DOH figures this out. Not sure if I’ll get the vaccine. I’ll call my doc now. Hope it’s not a big needle and thick serum like tetanus (DTap).

  • Many years ago while working one summer at the old Libby’s pineapple packing plant off Nimitz Hwy. in Kalihi Kai, I remember one of my luna’s, a middle-aged ‘bat out of hell’ exhibited the same physical characteristics as someone who has Hepatitus, “yellow skin and eyes”. To this day I’ve always remembered her because of her unpleasant and tyrannical disposition and that peculiarity with the white’s of her eyes which were extremely yellow and made us lackeys avoid her as much as possible.
    Perhaps of course, it could have just been one of the side effects of working in that unholy environment for so long.

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