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Maine CDC warns of potential hepatitis A outbreak

A food service worker in Westbrook has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Maine CDC.

According to a news statement from the Maine CDC, the person allegedly worked at the eateries at 855 Main Street in Westbrook on January 14, 17, 21; 24-28, 31; and February 2-4 throughout their contagious time.

Those who ate at Legends Rest Taproom or Paper City BBQ or bought takeaway during the aforementioned days may be at risk for contracting hepatitis A, according to the Maine CDC.

What is hepatitis A: Causes and symptoms

Hepatitis is a liver disease. (Image via Unsplash)Hepatitis is a liver disease. (Image via Unsplash)
Hepatitis is a liver disease. (Image via Unsplash)

Mayo Clinic defines hepatitis A virus as the cause of hepatitis A, a highly contagious liver ailment. The virus is one of several hepatitis virus types that impair liver function and induce inflammation in the liver.

The greatest risk factors for contracting this disease are contaminated food or drink, as well as intimate contact with an infected person or object. The majority of infected individuals fully recover and experience no long-term liver impairment.

Common symptoms

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Low appetite
  • Exhaustion
  • Joint pain

Mild to severe symptoms can appear anywhere between 15 and 50 days following viral exposure. When someone is sick, they might need to visit the hospital, and their symptoms might linger for several months.

Precautions to take

It is advised to follow proper hygiene. (Image via Unsplash)It is advised to follow proper hygiene. (Image via Unsplash)
It is advised to follow proper hygiene. (Image via Unsplash)

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially before preparing or eating food, after using the restroom, and after changing diapers.

If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizers.

Avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish because they could be contaminated, and only eat food that has been properly prepared.

Make sure that street food is prepared and handled hygienically, and exercise caution when consuming it.

Make sure you only drink safe water, which can be treated or boiled water, or water in a bottle.

Refrain from having intimate personal contact with somebody who has this illness.

Never share personal things with an infected person, such as towels, toothbrushes, or dining utensils.

If you plan to visit areas where the disease is more common, consider getting vaccinated beforehand.

It’s important to keep in mind that vaccination is the most effective approach to avoid hepatitis A. Other preventative measures include maintaining proper hygiene and using clean food and water. Seeking individualized counsel from a healthcare professional is always recommended if you have concerns regarding hepatitis A or other health-related issues.

According to the CDC, Maine has continued to have high levels of this illness ever since the state saw a spike in cases in 2019. They have advised people to practice precaution.

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