Potential Hepatitis A Exposure from a Food Worker at Imperial Kitchen in Kensington

PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has recently confirmed that a person who works at the Imperial Kitchen, located at 3164 Frankford Avenue has acute Hepatitis A. While the risk of Hepatitis A infection is very low, the Health Department recommends that people who purchased food from Imperial Kitchen between Sunday, July 21st Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 receive Hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible. People who have previously received two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine OR have had Hepatitis A in the past do not need to be vaccinated.
 
People who need Hepatitis A vaccine should contact their healthcare provider’s office or visit a pharmacy to receive vaccine. The Health Department maintains a website of places where people who have insurance can be vaccinated. The Health Department is also offering Hepatitis A vaccine at no cost at McPherson Square Park on Tuesday, August 20 and Thursday, August 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you need assistance getting Hepatitis A vaccine, contact the health department at 215-685-6741 during business hours (Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.).
 
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver. It can spread when a person who has Hepatitis A does not wash their hands very thoroughly after using the bathroom and then prepares food. People infected with Hepatitis A usually develop symptoms two to six weeks after they had contact with the virus. Illness can range from mild cases of diarrhea and vomiting to more severe symptoms of jaundice. Other symptoms include fever, low energy, stomach pain, and dark urine. There is no medication to treat Hepatitis A. Many people get better on their own at home but some people can become very sick and need to be hospitalized.
 
If you develop Hepatitis A symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. 
 
On August 1st, the Health Commissioner declared a public health emergency in response to continuing rapid increases in Hepatitis A in the Philadelphia.
 
The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination with the Hepatitis A vaccine. To get the full benefit of the Hepatitis A vaccine, more than one shot is needed. Practicing good hand hygiene – including thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food – plays an important role in preventing the spread of Hepatitis A. More information on Hepatitis A is available on the Health Department’s website.

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