AUGUSTA — A person infected with hepatitis A virus is reported to have served food at the Sept. 28 Durham Friends Meetinghouse, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Maine CDC is investigating the event and urging the approximately 100 people who attended the church supper to get vaccinated to prevent illness.

And there may be more, said Sheila Pinette, Maine CDC director.

“She was a very, very active individual in her community and a huge participant,” Pinette said.

When administered within two weeks of exposure to hepatitis A, vaccination is very effective in preventing illness, according to the Maine CDC. The end of the two-week window for effective treatment is this Saturday, Oct. 12.

A free hepatitis A vaccination clinic is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m.Wednesday at the Durham Eureka Community Center, 605 Hallowell Road.

Hepatitis A illness is caused by a virus that affects the liver. “It can be particularly severe in people who have chronic liver disease,” Pinette said.

It is most commonly spread through consumption of contaminated food and is not spread through casual contact. Some signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include abdominal pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark urine and jaundice. Adults are more likely to show signs and symptoms of illness than children.

Typically, it takes four to six weeks for symptoms of the virus to appear.

People from the Maine CDC met with people at the Durham Friends Meetinghouse on Sunday. About 80 people who attended the supper have been contacted, Pinnette said.

A health care provider can diagnose hepatitis A through a blood test. For more information, contact Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821 or your health care provider.


Facebook comments

filed under: