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Public Health finds possible hepatitis A infection at Beverly Hills Whole Foods

Public Health issues warning after possible hepatitis A case at Beverly Hills Whole Foods
Public Health issues warning after possible hepatitis A case at Beverly Hills Whole Foods 00:35

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recommended that anyone who bought items from the seafood counter of a Beverly Hills Whole Foods head to the doctor for a hepatitis A vaccine. 

Officials issued this recommendation after scientists discovered a possible hepatitis A infection at the Whole Foods Market on 239 N. Crescent Drive. The employee who possibly contracted the virus worked in the store's seafood counter section between April 20 and May 13.

Scientists have not detected any additional cases and are working with the company to ensure employees are referred for vaccination. However, the investigation is ongoing. 

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that can spread even before people feel sick. It spreads through the stool and blood of infected people or through contaminated food. 

It can manifest as a mild illness lasting a few weeks or a severe sickness lasting months. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, or yellow eyes/skin. In rare cases, it can cause death.   

The Department of Public Health said vaccination is the best way to prevent contracting the disease since there is no specific antiviral treatment for hepatitis A. While getting vaccinated will likely prevent infection, people can still get sick if they do not vaccinate soon after exposure. 

Public Health officials added that older adults and people with weakened immune systems may need to receive immune globulin and the vaccine to prevent infection after exposure. 

Residents who visited the seafood counter between April 20 and May 13 should contact their pharmacy or healthcare provider for a vaccine. 

Earlier this week, Public Health officials announced a hepatitis A outbreak among the homeless population in LA County. 

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