Department of Health: Hepatitis A outbreak up to 292 cases

On August 16, 2016, Hawaii Department of Health officials identified uncooked scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants as the source of the outbreak. The product of concern is Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) that originated in the Philippines (states “Product of the Philippines” on the box), distributed by Koha Oriental Foods. As a result, this product has been embargoed throughout the State of Hawaii.

All Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai were closed temporarily and reopened on Sept. 10, 2016 after the state Dept. of Health stated that the sushi chain were in compliance of health regulations.

According to the HDOH, as of Nov. 9, there are 292 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in the current outbreak.

Since the last update, the health department has identified no new cases of hepatitis A; 74 have required hospitalization.

Eleven individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and seven visitors have returned to the mainland or overseas.

Although the 50-day maximum incubation period from the date of the scallops embargo has passed, HDOH continues to be alert for people who have had onset of illness earlier but may present late to a clinician, as well as possible secondary cases. Secondary cases have been rare in this outbreak and have been limited to household members of cases or close contacts of cases.

The onset of illness for the cases have ranged between 6/12/2016 and 10/9/2016.

Employees of the following food service businesses (one at each) have been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does not indicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Business Island Location Dates of Service
McDonald’s of Kahala Oahu Kahala (4618 Kilauea Avenue) Sept. 20–21, 23–24, 27–29, and Oct. 1, 4–5, 7, and 11

The following restaurants were previously on the list, but since it has been 50 days or longer since their employee was diagnosed with no subsequent linked cases, they are no longer considered places of interest.

Business Island Location Dates of Service
Baskin-Robbins Oahu Waikele Center June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016
Chart House Oahu Waikiki (1765 Ala Moana Boulevard) September 1–4 and 8–11
Chili’s Oahu Kapolei (590 Farrington Highway) July 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, and 27, 2016
Costco Bakery Oahu Hawaii Kai June 16-20, 2016
Harbor Restaurant Oahu Honolulu (1133 North Nimitz Highway) August 26 through September 12
Hawaiian Airlines Flight list (click here) July 1-26, 2016
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Oahu 801 Kaheka Street July 21-23 and 26-30, and Aug. 2-6 and 9-11, 2016
New Lin Fong Oahu Chinatown (1132 Maunakea St.) July 20, 22-23, 25, 27, 29-30, and Aug. 1, 3, and 5-6, 2016
Papa John’s Oahu Waipahu (94-1021 Waipahu St.) July 23 and 24, and Aug. 2, 2016
Sam’s Club (Ohana Seafood) Oahu Pearl City (1000 Kamehameha Highway) August 29 through September 11
Sushi Shiono Hawaii Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21, 2016
Taco Bell Oahu Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016
Tamashiro Market Oahu Kalihi (802 N. King Street) July 2, 4, 6–8, 11–13, 15–19, and 23, 2016
Zippy’s Restaurant Oahu Kapolei (950 Kamokila Boulevard) August 14, 18–19, 21, 23, and 25–26

View the latest updates from the DOH online here.

Officials say identifying the source of infection was challenge due to the long incubation period of the disease — anywhere from 15 to 52 days. This makes it difficult for patients to accurately recall the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place.

The health department says that if you are unvaccinated and are exposed to the disease, you should talk to your healthcare provider about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin. Doing so may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

Click here for more information on how to get the hepatitis A vaccine.

Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected.

Health officials recommend that you:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom or changing a diaper
  • Washing hands before preparing food
  • Appropriately cooking and preparing foods

The hepatitis A vaccine requires two doses given at least six months apart. For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, click here (PDF) or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

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