San Luis Obispo County residents contract hepatitis A at catered event

June 7, 2019

Three San Luis Obispo County residents contracted hepatitis A following a private catered event that took place last month, according to the SLO County Public Health Department. [Cal Coast Times]

The public health department is actively investigating the cases and contacting individuals who may have been exposed to the virus to ensure they received medial attention if needed. The patients, event organizers and caterers are cooperating with the investigation, and the risk to the general public is low.

Health officials have not disclosed any further information about the catered event, other than that it took place on May 3.

The three local cases do not appear to be linked to recent state and national outbreaks of hepatitis A among the homeless and illicit drug users.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by a virus that can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. In the United States, hepatitis A typically spreads when a person is exposed to the virus from food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus can also spread through close personal contact.

When adults and children over the age of six contract the virus, symptoms tend to appear suddenly. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellow skin or eyes, dark urine or light-colored stool, diarrhea and joint pain.

Individuals who experiences these signs and symptoms should contact their regular health care provider.

“Hepatitis A can cause serious illness,” County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said. “It’s important to remember this illness can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine.”


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obispan

Assuming no “close personal contact” between the guests and the catering workers we are down to “small, undetected amounts of stool” from people infected with hepatitis A. What event? What caterer? This is public information, make it public.


slomark

It would be nice if they told us which catered event it was, in case we were there.


Rambunctious

Testing for food service workers…and don’t tell us it doesn’t appear to be linked to recent state and national outbreaks of hepatitis A among the homeless and illicit drug users….where else does it come from…I hate news reports like this with a do not be alarmed sentence inserted in to it….we are not stupid…


oldtimer

Lol, because homeless were catering the event, or were those used needles in the pasta salad? How about things like Antrhax, bacteria and viruses come from where what??, Farms!!! Buy local, shop organic! Look it up.


AmericaTheFree

Good god Ram’ ol’ man! Get a grip! Stop with the “links” that aren’t there, aren’t even mentioned in the article, and stick with the facts…

“California experienced a large hepatitis A outbreak in 2016-2018, primarily among persons experiencing homelessness and/or using drugs in settings of limited sanitation. Although the outbreak in California is now over, other states continue to experience outbreaks in similar populations of at-risk people.” – California Department of Health, May 6th, 2019

During that time period, 2016-2018, there was only 708 cases of hep’ A reported state wide (a) with only 3 cases being reported in 2016-2017 in SLO (b) (between 2010 and 2017 only 13 cases were reported in SLO).

There is a much better case to be made that these cases of hep’ a were food born as it’s primarily transmitted through food. (c)

(a) https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/Hepatitis-A.aspx

(b) http://www.slohealthcounts.org/content/sites/slodph/Infectious-Disease_Community_Health_Assessment_San_Luis_Obispo_County_July2018.pdf

(c) https://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/bacteriaviruses/hepatitisa/index.html

Those like you on CCN have demonized the homeless population enough without throwing this latest bullchit their way. There was only 3 cases of hep’ a between 2016-2017 reported in SLO, the outbreak in Cali’ ended in 2018 and you think it was some homeless individual or drug user that caused this?

We get it! You don’t like them! You think they should be shipped off to some other city less astute and worthy then SLO, we get it! Just don’t make chit up to further your prejudiced scared as chit agenda, otay?!!!


Rambunctious

Well some of us are not stupid….


AmericaTheFree

Implying that I am (stupid)? Better stupid than being just plain a$$ destructive prejudice! Don’t ya think?

The question should be about the county food handlers card(s) that each and everyone of those working for that catering company should have had and had been adhering to, don’t ya think? Were they? Was the catering company up to code with the county, licensed (business, etc.), insured and or bonded?

Homeless or not it doesn’t matter; it was an employed person trying to earn money that probably didn’t know he or she was infected that started this. That individual could have been a field worker, a packer, a grocery store employee or an employee of the unidentified catering company, it doesn’t matter.

To irresponsibly bring your fear and prejudice into the conversation doesn’t help matters, all it does is cloud the real issue and divert attention away from any real solution to a subject not even related.

But… ONLY 13 people in 10 years, and only 3 in 2016 – 2017, infected with hep’ A in SLO, and no mention of living status or supposed drug use, and come to the conclusion that it was either a homeless person or drug user? Wow! Even a statistician would have a hard time with odds on that one, don’t ya think?


sweethome

Right on AmericaTheFree!


oldtimer

Agreed!