Oakland County health officials were alerted Thursday that an attendee of the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly, MI has a confirmed case of hepatitis A and was ill while attending the festival on September 1.

Image/isfara via pixabay
Image/isfara via pixabay

It is strongly recommended that those attending and working the festival on September 1 and September 2 get a hepatitis A vaccine by Saturday, September 15, if they have not been vaccinated.

“Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days after potential exposure,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for the Health Division. “If you have attended the Michigan Renaissance Festival during these dates and have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have a sudden onset of any symptoms, contact your doctor.”

Attendees unable to get vaccinated by September 15, are advised to be aware of hepatitis A symptoms such as sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, and/or vomiting often followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Symptoms may appear from 14-50 days after exposure, but average about one month.

Oakland County’s Nurse on Call hotline, 1-800-848-5533, will be open on Friday, September 14th from 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. to answer calls. The Health Division will also host two special Hepatitis A vaccine clinics:

  • Friday, September 14, 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac.
  • Saturday, September 15, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac.

“We are still experiencing a serious, ongoing hepatitis A outbreak both locally and statewide. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months,” said Stafford. “Vaccination, good hygiene, and proper sanitation of surfaces can prevent the spread of hepatitis A.”

The hepatitis A outbreak in Michigan began in August 2016. To date, 886 outbreak cases have been reported with eight out of ten patients requiring hospitalization.

28 deaths have been reported.