Another hepatitis A case reported

HONOLULU — Another case of hepatitis A has been confirmed in an Oahu McDonald’s employee and the death of an Oahu woman has been confirmed in connection with the June disease outbreak.

But healthcare professionals say the three reported cases of hepatitis A on Kauai connected to the contaminated scallops served at Genki Sushi have recovered.

Jonathan Hilts, with Hawaii Department of Health’s disease outbreak control division, said DOH can’t release the details because of its ongoing investigation and due to patient privacy.

“We can confirm DOH is aware of the death of a person previously reported as having been infected with hepatitis A,” Hilts said. “The death was reported to us by Queen’s Medical Center earlier this week.”

As of Oct 26, the number of reported hepatitis A cases in the state is at 291 and the number hasn’t changed since Oct. 9. Health officials said 73 people have been hospitalized and they are keeping an eye open for secondary cases related to the outbreak.

Secondary cases have been rare in this outbreak, and have been limited to household members or close contacts of cases, according to DOH.

Kauai’s Genki Sushi location closed its doors at the request of DOH in August and reopened several weeks later after cleaning the restaurant and making sure every employee was in compliance with DOH standards.

The restaurant also underwent a $300,000 renovation during the closure.

An employee at the McDonald’s in Kahala on Oahu was reportedly diagnosed with hepatitis A on Oct. 19.

“This case was identified and reported to us later in their illness, but had their symptom onset within the 50-day maximum incubation period from the date the scallops were embargoed,” said state epidemiologist Sarah Park in a news release.

Vaccination is the best form of protection against hepatitis A, according to DOH, so anyone who has eaten or had any beverages prepared or served at the Kahala McDonald’s should contact their healthcare providers.

Affected service dates at the Kahala McDonald’s are Sept. 20-21, Sept. 23-24, Sept. 27-29, Oct. 1, Oct. 4-5, and Oct. 11.

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