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Los Angeles County investigates hepatitis A incident at Beverly Hills Whole Foods

Los Angeles County investigates hepatitis A incident at Beverly Hills Whole Foods


Los Angeles County health officials are investigating a reported hepatitis A infection in a Whole Foods supermarket employee in Beverly Hills, potentially exposing the public to the highly contagious liver infection. warns.

Officials warn that anyone who purchased items in the seafood section of the Crescent Drive grocery store between April 20 and May 13 may be affected and have no immunity to hepatitis A. He urged those who do not yet have the vaccine to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

The virus was also recently discovered among the county's homeless population.

Hepatitis A is detected in the stool and blood of infected people and can spread between people even before they become infected. Symptoms include: Fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.

“Vaccination as soon as possible after infection may reduce the risk of developing hepatitis A infection,” the county public health department said in a statement. “Residents should contact their local pharmacy or health care provider about the vaccine.”

Whole Foods said it is working closely with the department.

“The diagnosed team member is not working and no one else has become ill,” the company said in a statement. “While we have rigorous food safety processes in place at our stores, we encourage anyone who believes they may have been exposed to follow the guidance of the Department of Health.”

No other infections have been reported in connection with the Whole Foods incident, but county health officials announced this week that they have confirmed five hepatitis A cases among homeless people since March.

Officials said the risk to the general public was “low” but urged anyone who may have been infected to check whether they have been vaccinated.

Officials say homeless people are at higher risk of contracting the virus because they are less likely to wash their hands or use the restroom.

Last known in California Hepatitis A epidemic From 2016 to 2018, it occurred primarily among people experiencing homelessness and people using drugs in settings with limited sanitation. In San Diego — I experienced that too In 2017, there was an outbreak of hepatitis A. Health officials reported an increase in the number of infections among homeless people last year.

Times staff writer Ruben Vives contributed to this report.




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