The Hawaii State Department of Health has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a Chart House Restaurant employee.
The food service employee worked at the restaurant on Sept. 1–4 and 8–11, 2016.
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.
“The cause of the outbreak has been identified as frozen scallops that were served uncooked, but the long period of incubation, up to 50 days, means we could see cases of hepatitis A into October,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “We will continue to inform the public regarding infected food handlers so that customers who may have been exposed during those service dates can consult their healthcare provider, especially if exposure was in the past two weeks and the customer might still be able to receive vaccination or immune globulin to prevent infection.”
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.