The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) reported an additional 33 hepatitis A cases in the past week, bringing the outbreak total to 168, prompting state health officials to enlist the help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Three CDC investigators arrived Sunday to work with the dozens of Hawaiian investigators working on tracking the source of the outbreak.
Of the 168 hepatitis A cases reported, 46 have required hospitalization. All cases have been in adults.
Two additional cases have been confirmed in Oahu food service workers Wednesday by health officials. As a public health precaution, food handlers identified as contacts of a case must be tested for hepatitis A and found negative for the virus before returning to work.
One infected food service worker is an employee at Papa John’s restaurant, located at 94-1021 Waipahu Street, in Waipahu. The employee worked on July 23 and 24, and Aug. 2, 2016.
The other infected food service worker is an employee at New Lin Fong bakery, located at 1132 Maunakea Street, in Chinatown. The employee worked on July 20, 22-23, 25, 27, 29-30, and August 1, 3, and 5-6, 2016.
The information is provided to the public as a precaution in an attempt to prevent any new cases, and the likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low.
“The public’s health is our primary concern, and we feel it is important to provide them with the most up-to-date information so they can work with their healthcare providers to protect themselves and their families,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “At the same time, we also want the public to understand that these businesses and the other previously affected food establishments are not the source of the outbreak.”