Hepatitis A confirmed in elementary school cafeteria worker


The Hawaii Department of Health is investigating a case of hepatitis A involving a school cafeteria worker.

The patient worked at Kipapa Elementary School in Mililani and was in the cafeteria kitchen between Aug. 3-16.

The Department of Education says it’s complying with the investigation and the school will be preparing its meals off-site for the time being.

The principal sent home a letter to notify parents.

DOH officials say all students should have received a hepatitis A vaccine as part of routinely recommended childhood vaccinations.

Children who have not been previously vaccinated — a few dozen students — should be seen by their pediatrician.

“So again, just emphasizing the previous establishments that had an implicated food worker, they followed the necessary protocol,” said Peter Oshiro, DOH environmental health program manager. “In fact, DOE went over and above what they had to do. They decided to close the school, make sure to do a strict up-and-down cleaning of everything in the back of the house and the front of the house. They really weren’t required to do all that, but because, out of an abundance of caution, they chose to do so.”

As of Aug. 17, DOH has confirmed 206 cases of hepatitis A, all in adults.

The department will release an updated count on Wednesday.

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