Hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii grows to 74

Hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii grows to 74

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At least 74 people have now fallen ill in Hawaii's growing Hepatitis A outbreak, the State Department of Health announced on Wednesday.

The outbreak started just before the Independence Day holiday weekend, and quickly spread. Twenty-two of the 74 cases are new, confirmed by state health officials in the last week.

All patients have been adults, including 26 who required hospitalization. So far, the outbreak has been isolated to Oahu residents, but health officials say one of the affected patients lives on the Big Island and another lives on Maui. Those patients were on Oahu when they were exposed to the disease.

The source of the outbreak has not been determined.

Earlier, health officials confirmed that two food service workers, one at Baskin-Robbins in Waikele and one at the Taco Bell in Waipio had fallen ill.

The Department of Health urged all of their customers during a two-week period in late June and early July to alert their healthcare providers, but emphasized, neither Baskin-Robbins nor Taco Bell are believed to be where the outbreak originated.

"These are merely places where the victims were employed. The likelihood that patrons of these food establishments will become infected is very low, but to prevent possible additional cases, we are notifying the public so they may seek advice and help from their healthcare providers," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park in a news release.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes.

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