The Clark County, Nevada, Health Department warned that a food worker at the Global Gaming Expo, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center September 13-15, 2005, tested positive for hepatitis A. The infected food worker was serving Schwan’s ice cream samples at the Schwan’s Food Service Booth, and did not show symptoms of the illness until after the conference although he was infectious during the time he served ice cream samples at the Gaming Expo.
Hepatitis A is a virus that primarily infects the liver. Symptoms of infection may not appear for 15-50 days after exposure to the virus. They include muscle aches, headache, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, fever, and malaise. After a few days of initial symptoms, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) sets in. In rare cases, the hepatitis A virus causes liver failure and impairs the infected person’s cognitive functioning.
“When individuals are exposed to hepatitis A, they want to know all they can about the symptoms of infection, so if they experience symptoms of hepatitis A, they can be educated about the disease when they contact a health care professional. Our site about Hepatitis A provides some of the most comprehensive information on the Web about this serious liver infection,” said William Marler, a Seattle attorney who has dedicated his practice to representing victims of foodborne illness outbreaks.
The Clark County Health Department is holding a public immunization clinic on September 24 and September 25, from 9am to 2pm at the Ravenholt Public Health Center for anyone who may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. The Health Department can be reached at 702-759-1300. Press option #5.