A Saco seafood restaurant’s customers and workers might be at risk of contracting Hepatitis A after a food service worker with an acute infection handled food there for two weeks in May.
The worker handled food at Sea Salt Lobster Restaurant while infected from May 12 through May 23, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Maine CDC recommends that anyone who ate food from the restaurant or worked there on May 22 or May 23 get a Hepatitis A vaccine by Saturday, as there is a 14-day period after exposure when preventative measures are effective.
The restaurant’s indoor and outdoor dining rooms weren’t open in May due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the CDC says anyone who may have ordered food from the restaurant during the two-week period could be at risk.
Patrons who ate food from the restaurant from May 12 through May 21 are outside the window for which the vaccine is recommended, but should seek medical attention if symptoms develop, according to the CDC.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, contagious liver disease that can spread through water or food, especially when the food is prepared by an infected person.
Symptoms range from mild illness to a severe sickness that requires hospitalization and can last several months. Most people with Hepatitis A have a sudden onset of symptoms such as fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A will begin to show 15-50 days after exposure to the virus, and the infection can spread about two weeks before symptoms start until one week after they end, according to the Maine CDC.