DOE confirms hepatitis A case in Benjamin Parker Elementary School cafeteria worker

The Department of Education has confirmed that a cafeteria worker at Benjamin Parker Elementary School has been diagnosed with hepatitis A.

The employee worked at the school from Aug. 28 through Aug. 30.

The DOE is issuing letters to parents today and meals will be prepared off-site for the time being.

The Department of Health is currently investigating. Previously, health officials noted that all students should have received a hepatitis A vaccine as part of routinely recommended childhood vaccinations.

In previous cases of food handlers who have tested positive for hepatitis A, information is released to the public as a precaution in an attempt to prevent any new cases. The Department of Health says that the likelihood of being infected by people that have eaten at these locations is very low.

At the last report issued, DOH has confirmed a total of 271 cases of hepatitis A as part of this outbreak investigation. All cases at this point have been adults.

Vaccination provides the best protection from hepatitis A, so any person who consumed food or beverage products prepared or served at this business during the identified periods may want to contact their healthcare providers about receiving a vaccine or immune globulin (IG). This may provide some protection against the disease if administered within two weeks after exposure. A statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies can be found here or by calling the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Help prevent the spread of hepatitis A by washing your hands often and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food. For more information on proper handwashing, click here.

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