Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) identified a case of acute hepatitis A virus infection in a Cumberland County food service worker, according to an advisory issued Oct. 30. The case served food while infectious from September 29, 2014 thru October 11, 2014.
The CDC has not released the name of the restaurant due to privacy.
A public health assessment of the employee’s illness, and food and beverage preparation practices, determined that restaurant patrons may be at risk for hepatitis A infection.
Maine CDC was notified of the illness beyond the 14-day window of opportunity for post-exposure prophylaxis to be effective. Health care providers are encouraged to remain vigilant for hepatitis A infection in persons with consistent symptoms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.
Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.
Not everyone has symptoms. If symptoms develop, they usually appear 2 to 6 weeks after becoming infectedand can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and jaundice.
There is no specific treatment once symptoms appear, but a vaccination can help lessen the effects of the disease if given within 14 days of exposure. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page
The best way to control the spread of hepatitis A and many other illnesses is through proper hand washing, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food. Hand washing should include 20 seconds of vigorous soaping of all parts of the hands, especially between fingers and under fingernails.