The Los Angeles Department of Public Health (DPH) is warning that people who ate sandwiches at the Jerry’s Deli near UCLA on certain days in November may have been exposed to hepatitis A and should get vaccinated.
“Public Health recommends that patrons who ate sandwiches at the restaurant or who ate catered sandwiches from this location on Nov. 18, 21, 23 or 24 should receive an immune globulin (IG) shot or a hepatitis A vaccination no later than 14 days after their exposure to prevent or reduce illness,” a DPH notice said. That means today, Dec. 2, is the deadline for anyone who ate their sandwiches on Nov. 18.
The county health department recommends getting vaccinations or IG shots from your regular doctor, but the department is also making the treatments available through a limited number of clinics. Hot and cold sandwiches and catered sandwiches are the only foods of concern.
An employee of the Westwood deli, located at 10925 Weyburn Ave., was diagnosed with acute hepatitis A, a virus that is spread by close physical contact and through fecal contamination of food or drink. Public Health has yet to receive any further reports of hepatitis A related to the deli.
“Persons who had sandwiches from Jerry’s Deli in Westwood between Nov. 12 and Nov. 17 may have been exposed to hepatitis A, but it is too late to receive IG or vaccine to prevent illness,” the Department of Public Health notice said. “If you experience any of the symptoms of hepatitis A, please contact your doctor.”
* jaundice (a yellow color to the eyes or skin)
* loss of appetite
* abdominal cramps
* dark-colored urine
* fatigue and light-colored bowel movements
Symptoms don’t occur until a few weeks after exposure, noted Dr. Sammy Saab, an associate professor of medicine and surgery in the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases.
“The problem is how easily it’s spread. It’s very contagious,” Saab said. “In the very old and the very young, it can cause liver failure, but most people have flu-like symptoms that tend to resolve on their own.”
The virus causes the liver to swell, and treatment includes rest, a low-fat diet and avoidance of alcohol and acetaminophen.