The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning Friday that an employee at the Green Elephant Bistro in Portland was diagnosed with hepatitis A.

The person worked during their infectious period at the restaurant on the following dates: Sept. 21 (dinner only); Sept. 23 (lunch and dinner); Sept. 24 and 27 (dinner only); Sept. 28 and 30 (lunch and dinner); Oct. 1, 4 and 5 (dinner only).

The restaurant at 608 Congress St. is working closely with Maine CDC and has reported no ongoing exposure after these dates, the agency stated.

“Anyone who dined in at this restaurant during these days could be at risk for hepatitis A infection,” the agency stated. “Customers who purchased and/or ate takeout food or drink from this restaurant during these days are not known to have been exposed.”

Still, the agency advised people to throw out any leftover food purchased at the restaurant on those dates, and to contact a health care provider and get vaccinated if they think they may have been exposed.

“You can prevent getting hepatitis A with a vaccine,” the agency stated. “People exposed to hepatitis A can avoid getting sick if they get the vaccine within 14 days of the exposure.”


Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease caused by a virus that can spread through person-to-person contact or by consuming contaminated food or water.

“If you ate or drank from this restaurant during these dates, get a hepatitis A vaccine within 14 days of the last time eating or drinking there,” the agency advised. “If more than 14 days have passed, people who have not previously been vaccinated may still get the vaccine at any time to protect against future exposures.”

Employees who worked in the restaurant on those dates should get a hepatitis A vaccination within 14 days of their last date worked.

“Ask your health care provider if you need hepatitis A immune globulin (IG) in addition to hepatitis A vaccine,” the agency stated. “Certain people may need both.”

Symptoms of hepatitis A including feeling tired, low or no appetite, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, dark-colored urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fever and joint pain.

Symptoms begin 15–50 days after exposure to the virus and can range from mild to severe. People who get very ill may need to be hospitalized and their symptoms can last several months. Most children younger than 6 years old have mild or no symptoms.

Hepatitis A vaccine will be available without a prescription for anyone who does not have health insurance at Portland Public Health, 39 Forest Ave., on the following dates: Oct. 17 from 12-2 p.m.; Oct. 18 from 5-7 p.m. and Oct. 19 from 1-3 p.m.

For those with insurance, vaccines will be available without a prescription at the Hannaford pharmacy, 295 Forest Ave., Portland, on Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hepatitis A vaccine is a two-dose series, the agency stated. After one dose, at least 94 out of 100 people become immune for several years. Getting the second dose ensures long-term protection.

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