By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Florida health officials in Pinellas County report identifying a positive case of hepatitis A in a food service worker in St. Petersburg.

The individual worked at the Derby Club at Derby Lane, 10490 Gandy Blvd. N., St. Petersburg, and 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 Monday, September 16 and Wednesday, September 18.Those who consumed food or beverage between Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 15 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.

DOH-Pinellas is encouraging all healthcare providers, including hospital emergency departments to stay on high alert and immediately report cases of hepatitis A to DOH-Pinellas, as well as identify those who would benefit from vaccination.

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

Statewide, Florida health officials have reported 3,223 hepatitis A outbreak cases and 39 deaths since January 2018.