April 15, 2000
Six Cases of Hepatitis A Linked to Little Canada Restaurant
Patrons Are Urged to See Physician for
Little Canada, MN (SafetyAlerts) - Six confirmed cases of
hepatitis A have been linked to the Hoggsbreath restaurant and bar in Little Canada,
prompting health officials to recommend immune globulin (IG) shots for people who ate
The individuals who became ill include five
members of the restaurant staff and one patron. State and county health officials are
working to ensure that all potentially contaminated food at the Hoggsbreath has been
discarded, and that the restaurants food handlers all get IG shots before returning
to work. An IG shot protects a potentially infected individual against becoming ill, and
immediately eliminates any risk of spreading the infection to anyone else.
Officials at the St. Paul-Ramsey County Public
Health Department and the Minnesota Department of Health are working with local health
care providers to ensure that adequate supplies of IG are available. Officials say people
dont need to be concerned if their physician isnt able to provide the shots
this weekend. IG provides protection if it is administered within 14 days following
exposure to the hepatitis A virus. The IG shots are being recommended for people who ate
food or drank beverages with ice at the Hoggsbreath between April 5 and April 14.
However, officials are also cautioning people to
be alert for hepatitis A symptoms if they ate at the restaurant as far back as the
beginning of March. Although people in that group will not benefit from the IG shots, they
can still be tested to see if they actually have the illness. If it is determined that
they do have hepatitis A, they can get appropriate supportive care, and members of their
families can receive the IG shots to prevent further spread of the virus.
The symptoms which tend to come on suddenly
most commonly include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, pain in the
abdomen, darkening of the urine, and light-colored stools. Symptoms can also include
fever, headache, diarrhea and jaundice a yellowing of the skin or the whites of the
Adults can become severely ill with hepatitis A,
sometimes taking as long as six weeks to recover. However, young children may experience
only mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all. People who dont develop any symptoms can
still pass the infection to others, and people who do become ill can spread the infection
to other people both before and after they develop symptoms.
Hepatitis A is spread through contact with fecal
material from an infected person, or consumption of contaminated food or water. Good
handwashing practices and other basic hygiene measures can reduce the risk of
The illness has a long incubation period. Symptoms
typically appear around 28 days after exposure to the virus, but it can take as long as 50
days in some cases.
Most people recover completely from hepatitis A,
with no lasting effects. Once youve had it you become immune, eliminating the
possibility that youll get it again.
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