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.