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Public Health Concern: Hepatitis A Identified In Employee At Lewiston Restaurant



Public Health Concern Hepatitis A Identified In Employee At Lewiston Restaurant

Maine, the Easternmost US state situated in the Northwestern part of the country, announced on Tuesday through the state’s Centre For Disease Control (CDC) a case of one of the main strains of  Hepatitis, known as hepatitis A in a restaurant worker in Lewiston.

Hepatitis is an Inflammatory liver disease that is caused by various viral infections and noninfectious agents leading to a range of health problems.

There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus referred to as types, A, B, C, D, and E, though all the strains are known to cause liver disease, but mode of transmission, severity of illness, geographic distribution, and prevention methods are different.

Public Health Concern Hepatitis A Identified In Employee At Lewiston Restaurant

The type of strain, hepatitis A announced by the Maine CDC is found to be highly contagious, it can spread from human to human contact or by consuming contaminated food or water.

According to the Maine CDC, the infected individual at the food services center worked during the infectious period, raising the possibility of spreading the virus to those whom the individual was in close contact with, as the virus can easily spread from person to person through contact.

Details of the individual work activities were found to have worked at the restaurant on the following dates: September 11, 13, 15-16, 18, 20-22, 25, and 27-28, 2023.

Hence anyone who purchased foods, drinks, and other edible items could be at risk of hepatitis A infection at this period.

Hepatitis A can take two weeks before the manifestation of the Symptoms from an infected person, from this period, such an infected person can unknowingly spread the virus before the Symptoms will start manifesting.

Further Preventive Guides For Exposed Individuals

The severity of hepatitis A illness is not as chronic when compared to B, C, and D strains; immune system defense mechanisms sometimes can heal persons infected with the virus.

But it is most advisable to quickly take the hepatitis A vaccine.

Some of these preventive measures are encouraged to be adhered to for people who are found to be exposed to areas with hepatitis A infection.

  • Discard any leftover food bought at such a restaurant during the stipulated dates.
  • If eligible, get vaccinated, at least within 14 days of your exposure to the various.

If after 14 days without manifesting Symptoms, it is still advisable to be vaccinated against future exposure

  • Ask your health provider if you need Hepatitis A immune globulin (IG) in addition to the hepatitis A vaccine.
  • If you’re already vaccinated, you are definitely immune against the virus, there is no further need for vaccination at least for now.

Another important measure to be taken is for exposed people to monitor the Symptoms, it usually begins within 15-50 days after exposure to the virus, it could be mild or severe.

Any severe cases or complicated cases may need to be treated in the hospital.

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Some Hepatitis A Common Symptoms

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Feeling tired
  • Low or No Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark-Colored Urine
  • Joint Pain
  • Fever
  • Jaundice (Yellowing of the skin and eyes)

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Maine Hepatitis A History

Cases of hepatitis A in Maine have been on the rise since 2019, in 2020, it was reported that Maine saw an increased number of hepatitis A cases in Penobscot, Somerset, and York Counties.

Maine reported 7-10 cases of HepA per year over the past ten years, in 2019, Maine recorded 45 cases of HepA.Most of these cases were reported to have been driven by restaurant-related outbreaks. Those at increased risk of being exposed to the virus should protect themselves with the hepatitis A vaccine, there are three hepatitis A vaccines approved in the US, they are Vaqta, Havrix, and Twinrix.

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Cameron Reedwood is a seasoned and dedicated news reporter and writer known for his passion for investigative journalism and commitment to delivering accurate and thought-provoking stories to the public. With over two decades of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted voice in the world of journalism.

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