Health alert issued after produce worker in New Jersey confirmed to have Hepatitis A

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Officials in New Jersey issued a public health alert after a worker at a produce store was confirmed to have a case of Hepatitis A.

The state Department of Health said the food handler is employed at Brother's Produce on E Railway Avenue in Paterson.

The person worked while they were potentially infectious between September 30 and October 5, 2019.

The Department recommended that:
--Any produce purchased from Brother's Produce between September 30 and October 5, 2019 should be discarded.
--People who may have eaten produce from Brother's Produce between September 30 and October 5, 2019, and who were not previously vaccinated against hepatitis A, should receive "post-exposure prophylaxis" (PEP). PEP consists of hepatitis A vaccine and/or immune globulin which can further reduce the risk of acquiring hepatitis A.

To be effective, PEP should be received as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks after eating contaminated food, the department said.

For most people, this date would be October 19, 2019.

Officials say PEP may be obtained from your health care provider.

For those without health insurance, the Paterson Department of Health has a limited amount of PEP, available to adults at their office.

Anyone with questions can call the Paterson Department of Health at 973-321-1277 x 2757.

Hepatitis A is mainly spread via close person to person contact or via contaminated food. Symptoms of hepatitis A may include fever, feeling tired, poor appetite, dark yellow urine, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, yellow skin or eyes. Symptoms usually appear within 3 to 4 weeks after infection.

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