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DOH-PINELLAS IDENTIFIES CASE OF HEPATITIS A IN FOOD SERVICE WORKER; ENCOURAGES VACCINATION

By Maggie Hall, Public Information Director

November 04, 2018

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) has identified a positive case of hepatitis A in a food service worker in St. Pete Beach. Following lab confirmation on November 1, DOH-Pinellas immediately began conducting an epidemiological investigation and today determined the individual worked at Toasted Monkey located at 6110 Gulf Blvd between October 17 – 28.

If you frequented this restaurant October 17 – 28, and have not previously been vaccinated for hepatitis A, you should be vaccinated. If you have previously received the hepatitis A vaccine you do not need to take additional action. DOH-Pinellas is offering the vaccine at the following locations:

  • St. Petersburg: 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N
  • Pinellas Park: 6350 76th Ave. N
  • Mid-County (Largo): 8751 Ulmerton Rd
  • Clearwater: 310 N. Myrtle Ave
  • Tarpon Springs: 301 S. Disston Ave

DOH-Pinellas is encouraging all healthcare providers, including hospital emergency departments to stay on high alert and immediately report cases to the Florida Department of Health.

A 24-hour hotline has been set up for people who have questions about Hepatitis A. The number to call is 727-824-6932.

Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A. People who should be vaccinated for hepatitis A include:

  • All children at age 1 year
  • People who are experiencing homelessness
  • Users of recreational drugs, whether injected or not
  • Men who have sexual encounters with other men
  • People with direct contact with others who have hepatitis A
  • Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
  • People with chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • People with clotting-factor disorders
  • Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. People infected with hepatitis A
are most contagious from two weeks before onset of symptoms to one week afterwards. Not
everyone who is infected will have all the symptoms. Symptoms usually start within 28 days of
exposure to the virus with a range of 15-50 days. Symptoms can include:

  • Jaundice (yellowing skin and whites of eyes)
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue/tired
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Pale or clay colored stool

How is hepatitis A treated or hepatitis A infection prevented?

  • Hepatitis A vaccine is the best method of preventing infection.
  • No medicines can cure the disease once symptoms appear. People with hepatitis A
    symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
  • Most people get better over time but may need to be hospitalized.
  • Previous infection with hepatitis A provides immunity for the rest of a person’s life.
  • People that are exposed to hepatitis A may be given vaccine or immune globulin within
    14 days of exposure to prevent infection.

Go to www.PinellasHealth.com or call (727) 824-6900 for information about DOH-Pinellas.
Follow us on Twitter @HealthyPinellas.


About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.