State investigating possible case of Hep A in Honolulu food service worker

State investigating possible case of Hep A in Honolulu food service worker

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is investigating a possible case of Hepatitis A in a food service employee in Honolulu.

According to the Department of Health, the employee – who works at Wah Kung Restaurant on Mapunapuna Street – may have been infectious between Dec. 1, 2017 and Jan. 6, 2018.

"Because of the limited two-week window to prevent infection among those potentially exposed, we are alerting the public as a precaution," said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist. "We encourage people to take appropriate action to protect their health and prevent possible new cases in our community."

The investigation comes about two weeks after two cases of Hepatitis A were reported on Kauai, though the state said it does not appear they are related.

Investigators said the cases on Kauai are consistent with a strain responsible for a deadly outbreak of the disease in California.

Hawaii is no stranger to Hepatitis A cases.

Clinics and pharmacies across Oahu reported a surge in patients last May when it was reported that poke that tested positive for the virus had been sold at several eateries. An outbreak of Hepatitis A in Hawaii in 2015 sickened hundreds of people, and at least one woman who ate tainted scallops died of liver failure.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes. State health department officials say a medical advisory has been distributed to physicians statewide warning of the newly-discovered cases.

This story may be updated.

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