About Hepatitis

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About Hepatitis Blog

A History of Hepatitis A Lawsuits

The hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have many years of experience working with clients on Hepatitis A outbreak lawsuits.

Hepatitis A is one of five human hepatitis viruses (hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E) that primarily infect the liver and cause illness. It is a communicable (or contagious) disease that spreads from person-to-person through fecal-oral contact, often from an infected food handler contaminating food. The cases the Marler Clark hepatitis A lawyers have been involved in have generally resulted from contaminated food or water.

An estimated 80,000 hepatitis A cases and an estimated 100 deaths due to acute liver failure brought on by hepatitis A occur each year in the U.S. The rate of infection has dramatically decreased since the hepatitis A vaccine was licensed and became available in 1995. Despite the decrease in hepatitis A cases nationally, Marler Clark has represented clients young and old who have become ill with hepatitis A after eating contaminated food or who were exposed to the virus and had to receive an injection to prevent illness.

The Marler Clark hepatitis A attorneys have unmatched experience representing victims of hepatitis A. Our law firm represented victims of notable hepatitis A outbreaks such as the 2003 Chi Chi’s hepatitis A outbreak, the 2005 California lettuce hepatitis A outbreak, and the 2010 Quad-Cities McDonald’s hepatitis A outbreak. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

What to know about Hepatitis A

Viral hepatitis is a major global public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of people and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Five biologically unrelated hepatotropic viruses cause most of the global burden of viral hepatitis: hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis D (delta) virus (HDV), and hepatitis E virus (HEV).  

Hepatitis A is a communicable (or contagious) disease that is acquired primarily by the fecal oral route either from person to person or through contaminated food or water. Food-related outbreaks are most commonly associated with contamination of food during preparation by an HAV-infected food handler. The food handler may not recognize they are contagious or ill because the peak time of infectivity—that is, when the most virus is present in the stool of an infected individual—occurs during the two weeks before symptoms begin. The clinical manifestations and duration of illness vary a great deal, with many persons, especially young children, showing no symptoms at all. The clinical signs of HAV infection include dark urine and, sometimes, clay-colored stool, often accompanied or followed by jaundice. Associated symptoms may involve fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, and extreme fatigue. Hepatitis A is the only common vaccine-preventable foodborne disease in the United States. Each year, approximately 3,700 to 10,000 cases of hepatitis A occur in the United States.

In New York, come for the Dunkin Donuts, leave with Hepatitis A? Walmart too?

Food Service Workers should get a damn Vaccine.

Chemung County is alerting the public to a potential exposure of a confirmed case of the Hepatitis A virus.

The Chemung County Health Department launched a disease investigation of a Schuyler County resident who worked at two area Dunkin Donuts while infected.

Now, the county is setting up a free clinic for community members, urging those who may have had any contact with the infected individual to get a vaccine to protect against Hepatitis A. Those details can be found below.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus. More in-depth details about the virus can be found below.

Officials say, following laboratory testing, interviews and a restaurant inspection, an employee who handles food at Dunkin Donuts on Corning Road (Miracle Mile) in Elmira Heights was identified with the Hepatitis A virus.

The worker also worked one day at the Dunkin Donuts in the Walmart store on County Road 64 in Horseheads.

The Dunkin locations have been notified of the potential exposure and the employee has not worked since February 11th.

Additionally, the Health Department has advised the manager to send any staff reporting Hepatitis A virus related symptoms for medical evaluation before returning to work.

Employees of the restaurant will be offered post exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is medicine to prevent Hepatitis A after a possible exposure.

Dunkin Donuts in Elmira Heights will be subject to additional inspections over the coming weeks and is complying with NYSDOH recommendations.

As a result of this potential Hepatitis A virus exposure, the Chemung County Health Department is advising anyone who ate food or drinks via dine-in, takeout, delivery or utilized the restroom at Dunkin Donuts in Elmira Heights (2501 Corning Rd., Elmira Heights, NY 14903) on February 9 or February 11, 2021 to receive free Hepatitis A vaccine from the Chemung County Health Department to prevent potentially exposed individuals from becoming infected.

Masks are required at the clinic. The vaccination clinic will be held at:

Where: Mass Vaccination Clinic, 17 Aviation Dr., Horseheads, NY 14845

When: Saturday February 20th from 9 am to Noon and Sunday, February 21st Noon to 3 pm

Those attending the Clinic are encouraged to pre-register to save time during the onsite registration process. Pre-registration may be completed prior to arrival by visiting, www.chemungcountyny.gov/HepA and look for the pre-registration links.

“We encourage those who may have been exposed during these specific timeframes to visit the clinic to receive free post exposure prophylaxis,” stated Public Health Director Peter Buzzetti.

Those who ate food or drinks via dine-in, takeout, delivery or utilized the restroom at either Dunkin Donuts locations between January 26, 2021 and February 5, 2021 may have been exposed but will not benefit from Hepatitis A vaccine to prevent infection from this exposure and are encouraged to monitor themselves and their families for symptoms for 50 days after consuming the food.

Those who develop symptoms suggestive of Hepatitis A virus should seek medical evaluation.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A virus can include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  •  Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

The disease is rarely fatal and most people recover in a few weeks without any complications. Adults have signs and symptoms of illness more often than children.

Infants and young children tend to have very mild symptoms and are less likely to develop jaundice than are older children and adults. Not everyone who is infected will have all of the symptoms.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus. It can range from no symptoms at all, to a mild illness lasting a few weeks, to a severe illness lasting several months. Although rare, Hepatitis A can cause death in some people.

Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. This can happen from eating at a restaurant, sharing food or drink, or eating when traveling in one of the many countries outside the United States with a high Hepatitis A infection rate.

Those with a past infection from Hepatitis A cannot be re-infected. He or she is immune for life and does not continue to carry the virus.

People who are most at risk of Hepatitis A include:

  • People with direct contact with someone who has a Hepatitis A infection. This can occur up to 2 weeks before the infected person develops symptoms, so you may not be aware of your exposure at the time.
  • Travelers to countries where Hepatitis A is common, which include most countries outside the United States. More information is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/hepatitis-a
  • Men who have sexual contact with men,
  • People who use drugs, both injection and non-injection drugs, and
  • Homeless individuals

For more information about Hepatitis A, visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/hepatitis/hepatitis_a/food_service_workers_fact_sheet.htm

Mississippi Papa John's linked in Hepatitis A fear

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is investigating a case of hepatitis A in a De Soto County restaurant employee which may have led to possible exposure for customers.

An employee of Papa John’s Pizza in Horn Lake, 906 Goodman Road, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A infection. While infectious, the employee worked at the restaurant from January 28 – February 11, 2020. Customers who ate at the restaurant or received a pizza delivery on those days may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Vaccination can prevent hepatitis A only if given within 14 days of exposure. Because those who ate at the restaurant (or received a pizza delivery) between January 28th and February 5th would have been exposed more than 14 days ago, they should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill. Those who ate at the restaurant or had pizza delivered from February 6th to February 11th should get a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not been previously vaccinated.

Those who think they may have been exposed to this case can receive a hepatitis A vaccination free of charge from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 20th and Friday, February 21st at the De Soto County Health Department, 8705 Northwest Drive, Building A, Suite 1 in Southaven.

“The risk of transmission of hepatitis A in this situation is likely very low. However, as a precaution, we recommend that anyone who ate food from this restaurant between February 6th and February 11th should consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not done so already. And again, those who may have been exposed between January 28th and February 5th should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

“The management and staff of the Papa John’s are fully cooperating with MSDH to prevent illnesses as a result of this exposure,” said Byers.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that causes fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), abdominal pain and dark colored urine. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool (feces) from an infected person. If you think you have symptoms of hepatitis A, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Everyone can prevent the spread of hepatitis A by carefully washing hands with soap and water, including under the fingernails, after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.

As a reminder, there is an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Mississippi and surrounding states affecting those who use drugs, those who are in jail or were recently in jail, those with unstable housing or who are homeless, and men who have sex with men. The MSDH continues to recommend hepatitis A vaccination for those specific groups as well.

Mississippi Gumbo Pot tied to Hepatitis A ill employee

The Mississippi State Department of Health is investigating a case of hepatitis A in a Warren County restaurant.
An employee of the Gumbo Pot on Halls Ferry Road in Vicksburg was diagnosed with the infection.

The employee worked at the restaurant on January 17, 18 and 22. Customers who ate at the restaurant on those days may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Vaccination can prevent hepatitis A only if given within 14 days of exposure. Because those who ate at the restaurant on January 17 and 18 would have been exposed more than 14 days ago, they should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill.

Those who ate at the restaurant on January 22 should get the hepatitis A vaccination if they have not been previously vaccinated.

“The risk of transmission of hepatitis A in this situation is likely very low. However, as a precaution, we recommend that anyone who ate food from this restaurant on January 22 should consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not done so already. And again, those who may have been exposed on January 17 and 18 should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if become ill,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

Mississippi Huddle House tied to Hepatitis A worker

Customers who dined at a Laurel restaurant in late January may have been exposed to hepatitis A, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.

State health officials said an employee who worked at the Huddle House restaurant on Chantilly Street has been diagnosed with the infection.

MSDH officials said anyone who ate at the restaurant from Jan. 26 to Jan. 29 may have been exposed to the highly contagious liver disease and are encouraged to get a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not received one in the past.

“It is unlikely that hepatitis A was transmitted to any customers from this particular case, but as a precaution, we do recommend the hep A vaccine for anyone who ate at the Huddle House from January 26 through January 29 if they have not already been vaccinated,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “The management and staff of this restaurant are fully cooperating with our investigation in order to prevent illnesses as a result of this exposure.”

Free vaccinations will be available at the Jones County Health Department on Thursday, Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 7, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The health department is located at 5168 Old Highway 11 in Ellisville.

MSDH continues to monitor an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Mississippi and surrounding states.

Old Mill Tavern Hepatitis A positive worker

The Florida Department of Health in Citrus County (DOH-Citrus) has identified a positive case of hepatitis A in a food service worker in Homosassa.

DOH-Citrus conducted an epidemiological investigation and today determined an individual who worked at Old Mill Tavern, located at 10465 W. Yulee Dr. in Homosassa, from January 19 through February 3 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 January 24 through February 3. Those who consumed food or beverage between January 19 through January 23 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.

If you previously have received the hepatitis A vaccine or have had a past history of a Hepatitis A infection, you are considered immune to the Hepatitis A virus and do not need to take additional action.

Those with specific questions about exposure to hepatitis A at Old Mill Tavern can call 352-527-0068 to reach DOH-Citrus.

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

Contact your county’s health department for hepatitis A vaccinations if you live outside Citrus County. Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A.

Florida Denny's link in Hepatitis A Scare

Two employees at a Denny’s in Kissimmee have tested positive for hepatitis A and now, the Florida Department of Health is urging anyone who ate at the restaurant to get vaccinated.

The department’s Osceola County branch issued a news release Tuesday alerting the public that the two employees at the Denny’s at 2051 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway in Kissimmee may have been infectious when they were working at the restaurant.

“This past weekend two employees at our Kissimmee, FL restaurant located at 2051 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway were diagnosed with hepatitis A.  The diagnosis was immediately reported to the Florida Department of Health in Osceola County (FDOH-Osceola).  Denny’s immediately closed the restaurant and commenced both a cleaning process and food removal as required by the FDOH.  The restaurant was inspected by FDOH-Osceola inspectors and declared safe, and we are providing all Denny’s employees at the location with the hepatitis A vaccine.  The FDOH recommends that anyone who has questions or concerns about hepatitis A and their health to contact their county’s health department,” the statement read.

Health officials are asking anyone who ate or drank at the location between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1 to get a vaccination. Those who dined between Oct. 14 and Oct. 23 should monitor for symptoms, including abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Anyone who experiences those symptoms should seek medical attention.

Those who have already received the vaccine or who have had a past history of hepatitis A do not need to take additional action.

Certain people are more at risk for infection than others but anyone can get a vaccine just in case. People at increased risk include:

  • All children at age 1 year
  • 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 or 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

The disease is most commonly transmitted through the fecal-oral route, officials said. Symptoms include:

  • Jaundice (yellowing skin and whites of eyes)
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Pale or clay-colored stool

The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County, located at 1875 Fortune Road in Kissimmee, offers hepatitis A vaccines for free or at a low cost at its clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

Boise Red Robin Hepatitis A Scare

Since January 2019, Southwestern Idaho has seen an increase in Hepatitis A cases. Though a common link among cases has not been identified, public health encourages you to protect yourself by getting vaccinated for hepatitis A and using proper hand hygiene.

7/17/2019: Hepatitis A case confirmed in food service worker employed at Saint Lawrence Gridiron, located at 705 W. Bannock Street in Boise

The food service employee worked various days and shifts during the period they were contagious. Based on the infectious period of hepatitis A, anyone who ate at Saint Lawrence Gridiron on the following dates should check their immunization records to see if they have received a hepatitis A vaccine:

June 21, 22, 23, 24 (2019)
June 27, 28, 29, 30 (2019)
July 1 (2019)
July 5, 6, 7, 8 (2019)
July 11, 12, 13, 14, (2019)

The risk of becoming infected with hepatitis A through an infected food service worker is low but CDHD encourages anyone who ate on any of the dates identified, and has not received a hepatitis A vaccine, or is unsure about their vaccine status, to consider getting vaccinated. CDHD is offering free hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who ate at this restaurant on an identified date listed above. Call 208-321-2222 to make an appointment at CDHD.

In order for the hepatitis A vaccine to help prevent possible transmission, patrons must get the vaccine within two weeks of the date they may have been exposed.

Those with questions about their immunization record, who wish to make a vaccine appointment or have questions related to hepatitis A and potential exposure at this restaurant may call 208-321-2222.

Potentially exposed patrons should also watch for symptoms of hepatitis A which may include abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), light-colored stools, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Hepatitis A symptoms typically develop around 4 weeks after exposure if you have been infected. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention.

Yet another Hepatitis A positive food service worker

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) identified additional cases of acute hepatitis A virus infection in Aroostook County. Close contacts at risk are already being notified. The only risk to the public identified by Maine CDC at this time involves a Presque Isle food service worker.

The Presque Isle case served food and drink while infectious on May 26, 2019 and June 2, 2019.

Maine CDC recommends the hepatitis A vaccine as post-exposure prophylaxis to anyone who ate or worked at the Mai Tai Restaurant in Presque Isle, Maine between 11:00am and 4:30pm on June 2, 2019. Exposed persons can receive post-exposure prophylaxis up to 14 days from exposure, after which the treatment is no longer effective. Anyone who visited the restaurant between 11:00am and 4:30pm on May 26, 2019 is outside the window for which prophylaxis is recommended, but they should watch for symptoms and seek medical attention should they develop symptoms.

Health care providers are encouraged to remain vigilant for hepatitis A infection in persons with consistent symptoms. All cases of hepatitis are reportable in Maine. Providers with suspected cases should report them to Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821.

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