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Vaccination for food workers eyed to avoid Hep A

Federal authorities, health officials and consumers demand food workers to get hepatitis A inoculations.

Just this April, almost 2,000 people needed immunoglobulin shots to prevent hepatitis A after they tested positive from eating at Italian La Fontana restaurant in Nyack, New York and Papa John’s Pizza Place, which is in Charlotte North Carolina.

There were also cases of hepatitis A in Hilton Head South Carolina back in February. Hudson’s Seafood House warned customers that one of their employees got the disease. According to officials, almost 100 people made sure and got their shots to avoid contamination.

Meanwhile, almost 3,000 people got vaccination shots in the New Hawaii Sea outbreak.

According to the 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate, there are about 17,000 people who get hepatitis A and 95 of them die.

There are 48 million people in America who gets affected by food poisoning. Among all the food poisoning issues, only hepatitis A has a vaccine.

Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A can cause acute liver infection that could lead to long term illnesses, liver failure and worst, death. Death is a rare case for hepatitis A though. Contagion happens when a fecal material of another person gets to someone else.

The main symptoms of hepatitis A are having a yellowish skin, the white portion of the eye gets yellow, these conditions are called jaundice. Other symptoms include having a dark-colored jaundice, nausea, fevers and chills.

Since 1996 hepatitis A infection has declined because of effective vaccination. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that there is no need for food handlers to get hepatitis A vaccination.

However, CDC’s viral hepatitis division medical agency epidemiologist Dr. Trudy Murphy said all of that could change. Hepatitis A vaccination used to be for children, but in 2006, even adults need it too, Murphy said.

Who gets the virus?

People who usually work and eat in restaurants are usually the people who get hepatitis A. Children these days usually gets the hepatitis A vaccination, however, people from their late 20s to 50s didn’t get this vaccination.

According to Murphy, since 2003, most of the people who got hepatitis A are food handlers. A lot of restaurants have reported their food handlers having this virus. According to Murphy, more handlers in restaurants are becoming exposed to hepatitis A.

More information is needed about this virus and more preventive measures should be done, especially to food handlers in restaurants.

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