Hepatitis A Outbreak 2016
The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is continuing to investigate a cluster of hepatitis A infections in the state.
On August 15, 2016, HDOH identified raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai as a likely source of the ongoing outbreak. The product of concern is Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) that originated in the Philippines (states “Product of the Philippines” on the box), distributed by Koha Oriental Foods and True World Foods. As a result, HDOH ordered this product embargoed (not to be sold, purchased, or consumed) throughout the state, and the temporary closure of all Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. The scallops received by True World Foods have not been distributed to any restaurants in the state, and were embargoed at their warehouse. The scallops served at Genki locations on the Big Island and Maui originated from a different supplier and have not been associated with the outbreak.
The outbreak investigation is ongoing. It continues to be challenging because of the long incubation period of the disease (15 to 50 days) and the difficulty patients have in accurately recalling the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place.
Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected.
HDOH encourages Hawaii residents to consider getting vaccinated for hepatitis A, and advises that they talk to their healthcare provider about hepatitis A if they are interested. Vaccination for hepatitis A is strongly recommended for certain individuals who are especially at risk (see HERE for a CDC list of groups recommended to be vaccinated for hepatitis A).
Hawaii residents are also advised that the demand for the vaccine during the outbreak has led to varied supply levels around the state, so it is recommended that they call ahead to assure the vaccine is available at a particular clinic or pharmacy before going there.
—Updated August 18, 2016—
The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) greatly appreciates all who volunteered to be part of our case control study. However, due to recent findings (press release) a case control study is no longer necessary, and will not be conducted at this time. HDOH is very grateful for the public’s assistance throughout the course of this investigation.
|As of January 11, 2017*:
Since the last update, HDOH has identified zero (0) new cases of hepatitis A. Seventy-four (74) have required hospitalization.Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak has been focused on Oahu. Eleven (11) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and seven visitors have returned to the mainland or overseas.After January 11, 2017, there will be no further weekly updates for the hepatitis A outbreak related to contaminated scallops. HDOH has returned to routine disease surveillance activities, which includes monitoring for any new cases of hepatitis A.
Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 10/9/16.
Contacts of Cases
Unvaccinated contacts of cases should talk to their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.
A contact is defined as:
- All unvaccinated household members
- All unvaccinated sexual contacts
- Anyone sharing illicit drugs with a case
- Anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with a case
- Anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by an infectious food handler
Note: A food handler is any person who directly prepares, serves, or handles food.
Unvaccinated food handlers who are contacts of cases must have a negative hepatitis A IgM test before they return to work.
More information about contacts of hepatitis A cases can be found on this printable factsheet.
Places of Interest
An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does not indicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.
Listed businesses will be removed from this list once 50 days have elapsed from the affected employee’s last service date while potentially infectious. Since the incubation period for hepatitis A is between 15 and 50 days, any customers who were potentially exposed at that business are no longer considered at risk for developing hepatitis A from that exposure after 50 days have passed.
|Business||Island||Location||Dates of Service|
|There are currently no food service businesses where a food handler infected with hepatitis A has worked within the past 50 days.|
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Hepatitis A — Information and Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- List of Vaccinating Pharmacies
- Information for Contacts of Cases
- Fact Sheet for Food Service Establishments
- Information for Healthcare Workers
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Information
- DOH Press Releases
- “Fight Hep A” Information Poster (color)
- “Fight Hep A” Information Poster (grayscale)
Information for Clinicians
For updates, go to http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/for-healthcare-providers/news-updates/
*Updates to case counts, when available, will be posted Wednesdays by 12:00 p.m. HST
This page last reviewed February 2017