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DOH-Pasco Identifies Case of Hepatitis A in Food Service Worker; Encourages Vaccination

By Melissa Watts

May 08, 2019

Hudson, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County (DOH-Pasco) has identified a positive case of hepatitis A in a food service worker at ICON Gentlemen’s Club in Hudson. Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG) may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. Therefore, Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for anyone who ate or drank between April 24 – May 1 at the gentlemen’s club, which is located at 18728 U.S. Hwy 19 in Hudson.

Patrons who consumed any food or beverage from this gentlemen’s club from April 15 – 23 may also have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. Patrons should monitor for symptoms of hepatitis A infection which include sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, pale white stools and yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention promptly. Those who have previously received the hepatitis A vaccine do not need to take additional action.

DOH-Pasco is offering the vaccine at the following locations:

NEW PORT RICHEY
10841 Little Road
New Port Richey, FL 34654

*Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Special hours for hepatitis A vaccine ONLY
Thursday, May 9, 2019: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, May 10, 2019: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 11, 2019: 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.
 
DADE CITY
13941 15th Street
Dade City, FL 33525

*Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
 
WESLEY CHAPEL
33845 FL-54
Wesley Chapel, FL 33543

*Tuesday & Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
*Friday 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
*If patrons choose to come during normal clinic hours, they may have a longer than usual wait time.

A hotline has been set up for people who may have questions about hepatitis A. The number to call is (727) 619-0400. 

Hepatitis A Facts

Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A. People who should be vaccinated for hepatitis A 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

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. People infected with hepatitis A are most contagious from two weeks before onset of symptoms to one week afterwards. Not everyone who is infected will have all the symptoms. Symptoms usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus with a range of 15-50 days. Symptoms can include:

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

How is Hepatitis A Infection Prevented or Treated?

  • Hepatitis A vaccine is the best method of preventing infection.
  • Proper hand washing is the simplest way to prevent the spread of infection.
  • No medicines can cure the disease once symptoms appear. People with hepatitis A symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
  • Most people get better over time but may need to be hospitalized.
  • Previous infection with hepatitis A provides immunity for the rest of a person’s life.
  • People that are exposed to hepatitis A may be given vaccine or immune globulin within 14 days of exposure to prevent infection.