Maine CDC Announces Possible Exposure to Hepatitis A – Restaurant in Dover-Foxcroft – Pat’s Pizza

AUGUSTA, ME (STL.News) The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has identified a case of acute hepatitis A virus infection in a Dover-Foxcroft food service worker.

The individual handled food at Pat’s Pizza in Dover-Foxcroft while infectious on November 11, 2020. An assessment of the employee’s illness determined that restaurant patrons may be at risk for hepatitis A infection.  Maine CDC recommends that anyone who may have eaten food prepared at Pat’s Pizza in Dover-Foxcroft or worked at the restaurant on November 11, 2020, receive hepatitis A vaccine by November 25, 2020.  There is a 14-day window during which vaccine can reduce the likelihood of illness.

Anyone who may have had dine-in, take-out, delivery, or curbside pickup of food from the restaurant should ask a medical provider about receiving the vaccine. Individuals with compromised immune systems or children younger than one year old who visited the restaurant on this date may benefit from hepatitis A immune globulin (IG), upon consultation with their health care providers.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus.  Symptoms range from mild illness to a severe sickness that requires hospitalization and can last several months.  Most adults with hepatitis A have a sudden onset of symptoms such as tiredness, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, dark urine, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Most children younger than 6 years old do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection.

Hepatitis A can be spread through contaminated food or water, especially in food prepared by a person who is infected. Symptoms begin to show 15-50 days after exposure to the virus.  An infected person can spread the virus to others approximately two weeks before symptoms start until one week after symptoms end.

Health care providers are encouraged to remain vigilant for hepatitis A infection in persons who exhibit symptoms.