DOH-INDIAN RIVER IDENTIFIES CASE OF HEPATITIS A IN FOOD SERVICE WORKER; ENCOURAGES VACCINATION
August 02, 2019
The Florida Department of Health in Indian River (DOH-Indian River) has identified a positive case of hepatitis A in a food service worker in Vero Beach.
DOH-Indian River conducted an epidemiological investigation and today determined an individual who worked at Pizza Mia, 1115 21st Street, on July 19 through July 23 may have been infectious.
The hepatitis A vaccine may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. Therefore, the hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for anyone who ate or drank at this restaurant between July 19 and July 23. If you don’t obtain the vaccination within two weeks of your exposure date you will be outside the Vaccination Window, and should instead observe for signs and symptoms of hepatitis A infection. This includes sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, pale white stools, or yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). Anyone experiencing these symptoms should promptly seek medical attention.
If you previously have received the hepatitis A vaccine or have had a past history of a hepatitis A infection, you are considered immune to the hepatitis A virus and do not need to take additional action.
Those with specific questions about exposure to hepatitis A at Pizza Mia can call (772) 794-7475 to reach the DOH-Indian River Epidemiology staff.
DOH-Indian River is encouraging all healthcare providers, including hospital emergency departments to stay on high alert and immediately report cases of hepatitis A to DOH-Indian River, as well as identify those who would benefit from vaccination.
Contact your county’s health department for hepatitis A vaccinations if you live outside Indian River County. Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A. People who should be vaccinated for hepatitis A include:
- All children at the age of 12 months
- People who are experiencing homelessness
- Users of recreational drugs, whether injected or not
- Men who have sexual encounters with other men
- People with direct contact with others who have hepatitis A
- Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
- People with chronic / long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- People with clotting-factor disorders
- Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
DOH-Indian River continues to offer the hepatitis A vaccine at no cost and without an appointment from 8 AM to 5 PM, weekdays, and this Saturday, August 3 only, from 9 AM to 12 PM:
Indian River County Health Department
1900 27th Street
Vero Beach, FL 32960
What is hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. People infected with hepatitis A are most contagious from two weeks before onset of symptoms to one week afterwards. Not everyone who is infected will have all the symptoms. Symptoms usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus with a range of 15-50 days. Symptoms can include:
- Jaundice (yellowing skin and whites of eyes)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Dark-colored urine
- Pale or clay colored stool
How is hepatitis A treated or hepatitis A infection prevented?
Hepatitis A vaccine is the best method of preventing infection.
No medicines can cure the disease once symptoms appear. People with hepatitis A symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
Most people get better over time but may need to be hospitalized.
Previous infection with hepatitis A provides immunity for the rest of a person’s life.
People that are exposed to hepatitis A may be given vaccine or immune globulin within 14 days of exposure to prevent infection.
Go to https://indianriver.floridahealth.gov or call (772) 794-7400 for information about DOH-Indian River.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.