Health Alert: Hepatitis A in Hawaii
Symptoms and tips for reducing the spread of germs
Health officials in Oahu, Hawaii are currently investigating a recent outbreak of Hepatitis A. So far there have been 74 confirmed cases of the disease, all in adults, with 26 requiring hospitalization.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the stool of infected people and is usually spread via eating contaminated food or water and also through person-to-person contact. Symptoms usually occur abruptly and can include:
After it was discovered that two eating establishments each had an employee diagnosed with the disease, it has been advised that anyone who consumed food and/or drinks at these restaurants to consult with their doctor. The Hawaii State Department recommends vaccinations for unvaccinated people at high risk of infection, such as contacts of a confirmed case or those who plan on traveling to the area.
Outbreaks like this remind us how quickly a virus can spread and the importance of following good hygienic practice to help protect against infection. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing and handling food. Other prevention methods include cooking food thoroughly and properly disinfecting surfaces.
For updates on the hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii:
For more information about hepatitis A: