The state Department of Health this afternoon confirmed two new food service-related hepatitis A cases on Oahu: an employee at Chili’s restaurant in Kapolei and a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant.
The new cases are among more than 90 Hawaii residents who have come down with the disease in the worst hepatitis A outbreak in the islands in nearly two decades.
The Chili’s food service employee works a restaurant located at 590 Farrington Highway. Diners might have been exposed to the disease when the employee was working on a total of 13 days last month — July 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, and 27.
The DOH has named Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant’s case because the infected crew member served in-flight food and beverages. Passengers on various flights between July 1 and July 26 might have been exposed to hepatitis A.
Hawaiian Airlines customers may go to www.hawaiianairlines.com/hepatitisA for detailed information on affected flights.
“At this time, no infections have been linked to exposure at these businesses and they are not sources of the outbreak,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said in a news release.
“We are alerting the public only as a precaution; the risk of transmission is extremely low and these businesses are working with us to help prevent potentially new cases in our community.”
Persons who consumed food or beverage products from these businesses during the identified periods and are recommended to:
>> Contact their health care 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.
>> Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
>> Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing food.
>> Stay at home and contact their health care provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop. Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes.
“The most infectious period for this disease may be as much as two weeks before the onset of symptoms — before the individual even knows he or she is sick,” Park said. “The public’s health is our main concern, and we feel it is important to equip people with this information so they may work with their health care providers to protect their health.”
For the complete list of food service establishments that have had employees diagnosed with hepatitis A infection, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/. For additional information about hepatitis A go to http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.