Hepatitis A confirmed in Hawaiian Air flight attendant
  • Monday, June 17, 2019
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Hepatitis A confirmed in Hawaiian Air flight attendant

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / DEC. 2012

    The Hawaii State Department of Health is continuing its investigation of an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak on the island of Oahu, and today confirmed a new case in a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant.

A Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant, who served inflight food and beverages to passengers, was confirmed to have hepatitis A, the state Health Department said in a news release this afternoon.

It’s the second case of a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant sickened in the outbreak on Oahu. Another flight attendant was infected last month.

The Health Department issued a news release as a precaution. Officials stressed that the risk of transmission is “extremely low.”

In the latest case, the flight attendant served inflight food and beverages to passengers on the following flights:

>>July 31, 2016 — Flight HA22 from Honolulu, HI (HNL) to Seattle, WA (SEA)

>> August 1, 2016 – Flight HA21 from Seattle, WA (SEA) to Honolulu, HI (HNL)

>>August 10, 2016 – Flight HA18 from Honolulu, HI (HNL) to Las Vegas, NV (LAS)

>>August 12, 2016 – Flight HA17 from Las Vegas, NV (LAS) to Honolulu, HI (HNL)

The Health Department identified imported frozen scallops as the likely source of the outbreak and embargoed the product statewide on August 15.

“This case is a reminder that hepatitis A symptoms can appear up to 50 days after exposure,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said in the news release. “This is why we expect to continue to see cases in coming weeks, and why we need to remain vigilant to prevent further transmission, even though the product has been pulled off the market.”

As of last week, there have been 206 cases of hepatitis A in Hawaii. Updated case counts and information are provided each Wednesday along with a complete list of food service establishments who have had employees diagnosed with hepatitis A infection at the following link: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.

The Health Department is recommending people who may have been exposed to the disease to contact their doctor about receiving a vaccine, which can 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 call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Hawaiian Airlines customers may go to www.hawaiianairlines.com/hepatitisA for detailed information on the affected flights and other support available.

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    • There should be disclosure of how each of the confirmed hepatitis A cases got infected. The latest report said that 70 percent ate at Genki. There should be disclosure on the remaining 30 percent whether they came into contact with an infected person who ate at Genki. Or did they eat take out Genki food inadvertently at another place such as a party. The public needs better information on the extent of the transmission so they can know the true risk of exposure.

        • Medical privacy doesn’t prohibit disclosure of this information if it isn’t attached to specific individuals named or easily identified.

      • The report says that genki was the ONLY place that stood out that way. NO other restaurants with the other 30%.

        They need to focus on individual home parties over the whole sample. You may go to genki but you may not eat the scallops, Some employee might have brought their own scallops from the Philippines, or some employee may have cacaroached genki’s.

      • Why should anyone know how she got the virus? How will that help you or aid her recovery? Anyone who needs more info can go to the CDC site as well as NUMEROUS other sites and educate themselves.

        • Because we would like to know what restaurants to avoid. The way flight attendants travel they could have picked it up in Hawaii. And remember, even though the latest flights for this attendant were to the Mainland, Hawaiian is expanding to the Philippines and Asia. The virus may not show up for 50 days.

        • From what I was told, Hawaiian stopped flying to the PI because they would not
          pay the borate to all the corrupt officials who wanted to wet their beaks.
          Hawaiian said, no thanks.

  • The Food and Drug Administration should be regulating our imported food for the safety of our citizens. I’d start there. Somehow they haven’t been doing a very good job in assuring that foreign products are safe for human consumption.

    When someone has to receive a Liver transplant as a result of tainted food – it’s gone too far.

  • If you are really paranoid about this outbreak, the solution is quite simple. Vaccinate, lay low, don’t eat out, wash and prepare your own food until the all clear. Then come out of your cave.

  • The question is did the flight attendant eat at Genki, specifically the tainted scallops? How many, if any of the other infected people contracted the virus second hand, i. e. from an infected person or a contaminated surface? What is the actual likelihood that the flight attendant could expose others? If the public could know whether direct contact with the tainted scallops by knowingly or unknowingly ingesting contaminated food is causing the illness, then people could know better the risk without panicking.

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