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Hepatitis A Case Reported in Beverly Hills Whole Foods Employee

Health Officials Advise Vaccination for Seafood Customers 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating a hepatitis A infection in an employee at Whole Foods Market in Beverly Hills, located at 239 N. Crescent Drive.

No additional cases have been identified so far, but the investigation remains ongoing. Due to the employee’s duties and symptoms while at work, public health officials recommend that anyone who purchased seafood from the store between April 20 and May 13 receive a hepatitis A vaccine if they are not already immune. Those who have not been vaccinated or previously infected may be at risk.

Prompt vaccination can reduce the risk of developing the infection. Residents are advised to contact their local pharmacy or medical provider to get the vaccine. Public Health is collaborating with Whole Foods to ensure that all employees who are not immune receive vaccinations.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The illness can vary from mild, lasting a few weeks, to severe, lasting several months, and can occasionally be fatal. The virus spreads through the ingestion of contaminated food, drinks, or objects.

There is no specific antiviral treatment for hepatitis A, but vaccination after exposure can prevent infection. Those who develop symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for testing. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent hepatitis A. Older adults and immunocompromised individuals may benefit from receiving immune globulin (IG) in addition to the vaccine after exposure.

Public Health continues to monitor individuals who may have been exposed to the virus. For more information, visit the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/diseases/hepa.htm.

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