Hawaii Health Department Investigating Hepatitis A Outbreak

"Health care providers have been informed and asked to notify us immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected. Treatment for hepatitis A infection is supportive only, and while most people will recover without complications, we are encouraging everyone to review their immunization record and talk to their health care provider about vaccination," State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health announced July 1 that it is investigating a cluster of at least 12 cases of hepatitis A infection in adults on Oahu, with six of those patients requiring hospitalization. Onsets of illness ranged from June 16 through June 27, 2016.

Preventable via a vaccine, hepatitis A is a virus that can cause fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes. The symptoms usually last several weeks to as long as two months. Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of infected persons and usually is spread by eating contaminated food or drinking water, but it can be spread through close personal/sexual contact.

The department wants residents to seek medical attention immediately if they develop symptoms.

"Hepatitis A infection is a vaccine-preventable disease, and fortunately, most children and adolescents have been vaccinated as part of routine childhood vaccination recommendations," Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler said. "However, many adults have not been vaccinated and remain susceptible."

"Health care providers have been informed and asked to notify us immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected. Treatment for hepatitis A infection is supportive only, and while most people will recover without complications, we are encouraging everyone to review their immunization record and talk to their health care provider about vaccination," State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said.

The vaccine is available at local pharmacies; two doses of vaccine given at least six months apart are needed for lasting protection. For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf.

DOH also said that, while vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Additional information about hepatitis A is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/hepatitis-a/.

Product Showcase

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi-gas detector that runs continuously for three years without needing to be recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Additionally, it is durable enough to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, which is why it has an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as Gas Clip Technologies’ new GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. 3

  • Magellan X Pte Ltd

    Hesitate No More with SOL-X Connected Worker Health & Safety Solution

    According to the National Safety Council, work-related medically consulted injuries total 4.26 million in 2021 in USA alone. SOL-X solution prevents “human factors” safety issues by anticipating incidents and improving compliance workflows. Leverages digital technologies (IIoT, AI and analytics) to predict patterns from occurring and make informed decisions. Control Of Work - gets rid of tedious paperwork and experience digital workflows. Crew Protect - maximises safety and situational awareness with health trackers and situational indicators. Award-winning Intrinsically Safe SmartWatch – innovative features that enable near real-time visibility and connected well-being. Works well with major connectivity protocols like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Long-Range Bluetooth! 3

Featured