A possible Hepatitis A exposure was reported at a Boothbay variety store this week by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The source of the virus was identified as a food service worker at T&D Variety, who handled food between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on April 6 and between 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on April 7 while infectious, according to the Maine CDC.
The virus, which can be spread through contaminated food or water, potentially affected deli food that was made “to order” on those days. Any deli foods that were made to order between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on April 6 and between 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on April 7 should be discarded.
Anyone who ate food prepared at the deli, or worked during those times on April 6 and 7 should seek a Hepatitis A vaccine within 14 days of suspected exposure. Anyone who has previously received the full series of Hepatitis A vaccines is considered to be protected from the virus.
Symptoms of contracting Hepatitis A are a sudden onset of tiredness, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, dark urine and jaundice. Children younger than 6 who are exposed to and contract Hepatitis A do not typically show symptoms, and if exposure is suspected, the child should be assessed by a medical professional.
Symptoms can develop anywhere from 15 to 50 days after the exposure, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone who has been infected may spread the virus to others starting two weeks before symptoms start showing and one week after symptoms have ended.
Further information about Hepatitis A can be found on the U.S. CDC website.