A restaurant worker with hepatitis A has been identified at a Lewiston Italian restaurant, and there is a risk that customers may have been exposed to the virus.
The food service worker at Marco’s Italian Restaurant at 12 Mollison Way in Lewiston took shifts at the restaurant over a number of days in September while they were able to transmit the disease, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those at risk for exposure to the virus are people who purchased and ate food or drink that was made at the restaurant on the following dates: Sept. 11; Sept. 13; Sept. 15; Sept. 16; Sept. 18; Sept. 20; Sept. 21; Sept. 22; Sept. 25; Sept. 27 and Sept. 28
The hepatitis A virus can spread through person-to-person contact or by consuming contaminated food or water, and can be spread by an infected person from two weeks before symptoms start to one week after symptoms have set in.
However, people exposed to hepatitis A can prevent being sickened by the virus by receiving a vaccine within 14 days of exposure. The hepatitis A vaccine is a two-dose series, and it is imperative to receive both vaccines.
Anyone who was potentially exposed to the virus should throw out any potentially contaminated food and drink, and seek out a vaccination.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include excessive tiredness, loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea or diarrhea, dark colored urine, jaundice, fever and joint pain. Symptoms typically begin around 15 to 50 days after exposure.
Cases of hepatitis A in Maine have remained high since an increase in cases in 2019. People at increased risk of becoming infected should protect themselves with a hepatitis A vaccine.
For more information on hepatitis A, visit www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/.