County Warns Of Potential Hepatitis A Exposure

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Get vaccinated on March 10, 11

The Nassau County Department of Health is investigating a confirmed case of Hepatitis A virus in a food handler who worked at 7-11, located at 1555 Jerusalem Avenue in Merrick.

Patrons who utilized the toileting facility, consumed foods and drinks prepared on-site between Feb. 1 and March 6,  may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

Individuals potentially exposed to hepatitis A between those dates should receive hepatitis A vaccination and/or immune globulin (IG). Those individuals who were potentially exposed between Feb. 1-23 fall outside this window.  These individuals should observe for symptoms of Hepatitis A and consult with their health care provider about the potential exposure and the need to vaccinate for future protection. Those who have been vaccinated with two doses of hepatitis A vaccine or who have had the illness in the past are protected from hepatitis A infections, and there is no need for further action.

County Executive Laura Curran and Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein  announced the availability of FREE Hepatitis A Vaccine and/or immune globulin for those exposed between Feb. 24 and March 6.  The vaccines will be available:

Sunday, March 10, from noon to 4 p.m.

Nassau Community College CCB Building

One Education Drive, Garden City

(Directional signs will be posted)

Monday, March 11, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Nassau County Department of Health

200 County Seat Drive, Mineola

A call center has been established for those that require additional information.  Those in need may call 516-227-9570.

Hepatitis A is caused by the Hepatitis A virus.  Hepatitis A virus may be spread by consuming food or drink that has been handled by an infected person. It may also be spread from person to person by placing something into the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with Hepatitis A.

The symptoms of Hepatitis A may range from mild to severe and include an abrupt onset of fever, fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).  The disease is rarely fatal, and most people recover in a few weeks without any complications.  The symptoms commonly appear within 28 days of exposure, with a range of  15-50 days.  There are no special medicines or antibiotics that can be used to treat a person once symptoms appear.  Generally, bed rest is all that is needed.

Thorough hand washing after bathroom use, and before, during and after food preparation is the most important means to prevent the spread of this and other intestinal illnesses.  Sharing of food and utensils should be discouraged especially whenever anyone is ill.

Additional information on Hepatitis A is available on the New York State Department of Health website at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/1859/index.htm

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