I flew to Oahu Hawaii over the weekend to meet with two people impacted by what is now at least a 93 person hepatitis A outbreak that has left 29 hospitalized as of July 26, 2016.
Ill people have also been located on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai and Maui, but the had been visiting Oahu in the weeks before the onset of their illnesses.
The onset of ill has ranged from June 12, 2016 to July 19, 2016. Therefore in essence this outbreak is growing and ongoing.
The Health Department has suggested that unvaccinated contacts of cases should talk to their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.
A contact is defined as:
- All unvaccinated household members
- All unvaccinated sexual contacts
- Anyone sharing illicit drugs with a case
- Anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with a case
- Anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by an infectious food handler with diarrhea or poor hygiene
Unvaccinated food handlers who are contacts of cases must have a negative hepatitis A IgM test before they return to work. An employee of the following food service business(es) has 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.