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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Illinois Department of Health Links Hepatitis A Outbreak to Employee Handwashing (lack thereof)!

The Illinois Health Department has released its investigation into this summer’s hepatitis A outbreak. It concluded the source of most of cases was food eaten at the Milan McDonald’s.  A state investigation has concluded most of the cases originated at the Milan McDonald’s and most of the cases *would have been prevented* if only that one employee had properly washed hands.

The findings of the investigation by the Illinois Department of Public Health concludes "the index case was a food handler at the McDonalds in Milan, Illinois and had onset of illness June 11." Investigators also found "other possible sources in the community were ruled out."  And, "The source of the outbreak for the majority of outbreak cases was food eaten at the McDonalds, Milan, Illinois where a food handler worked while infectious and handled foods that were not later cooked."

The state investigation goes on to say that "if the first employee with hepatitis A had used proper hand-washing technique while working the transmission of hepatitis A through food would not have occurred."

And, "proper hand-washing by the index case would have prevented the majority of the cases in the community. Reporting of the index case by designated reporters before June 25 would have.. reduced the number of cases in the community."

The first case of hepatitis A in the Quad city area was discovered last June. As we first reported back then, the first confirmed case of the liver illness was an employee at the Milan McDonald’s. Over the next two months, a total of 34 confirmed hepatitis A cases were reported.

  • Hepatitis A is considered a very contagious liver infection caused by type A of the virus. Not as severe as other kinds of viral hepatitis, this form of disease can cause inflammation that affects the patient‚Äôs liver, especially its ability to function. This kind of disease can be taken from contaminated food and water or from close contact with an infected individual, even if he presents no obvious signs. In almost all the cases, the disease manifests asymptomatically, but when the patient does experience signs and symptoms, they are similar to the ones caused by a severe form of flu. Usually, mild cases of Hepatitis A do not need treatment, because almost all patients who have been infected can completely recover, without permanent liver damage. Unlike the other form of the disease, this type does not develop into chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, both considered life threatening conditions.For treatment info see on 24drug.com

  • The best way to stay away from this ailment is to get appropriately vaccinated. So how can you know that you are contaminated by this distinct condition? Well, just like the other sexually transmitted type of condition, there is a great possibility that signs of the condition may not {manifest}. But there are still some signs of this illness that may surface like dark colored urine, muscle soreness, headaches, fevers, loss of appetite and weakening. Because this kind of symptoms are very much alike with flu symptoms, one should be able to carefully identify one from the other.