Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Long Beach, California Steakhouse: 8 Cases
Health officials in Long Beach, California are investigating a Hepatitis A outbreak which is believed to have originated at a local steak restaurant. There have been eight reported cases of the highly contagious Hepatitis A, all of which dinned at 555 East American Steakhouse in Long Beach, California. The illnesses are believed to have been acquired on or proximately close to Christmas Eve in 2019.
The Long Beach Department of Health and Human services is investing the exact source of contamination, and is asking the public to seek treatment if they were patrons of the steakhouse and are presenting with symptoms.
“We are notifying the public of the exposure so that people and immediately seek medical care if they begin to develop symptoms,” Dr. Anissa Davis, Long Beach’s health officer, said in a statement.
Dr. Davis also said: “Individuals who have been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have had the disease are protected. Those who are not immune to hepatitis A should consult their medical provider if they develop symptoms, and let their provider know they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.”
It is important to note that the restaurant, while still under investigation, is in complete cooperation with the health department and currently there is no ongoing public health risk.
Hepatitis A is a virus that is typically spread through direct contact or by ingesting food that has been infected. Hepatitis A is a liver infection that typically mimics flu-like symptoms such as a low-grade fever, nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue, and body aches. Symptoms usually do not present until two weeks after contact with the virus. Several days after showing signs of illness, symptoms can progress to compromised liver function which will manifest as dark colored urine, pain in the upper right part of the abdomen and jaundice (yellowing) of the eyes and skin. Treatment by a heath professional is necessary as well as receiving the necessary vaccine promptly if infected with the virus.