Renaissance Fair: Jousting, Merriment – And Hepatitis A
| Why does Hep A keep showing up in Oakland Co., Mich.?
| WJRT, Sept. 13, 2018 – Attendees at the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly, Michigan potentially were exposed to Hepatitis A.
The Oakland County Health Department is urging anyone at the festival Sept. 1 and 2 to seek a vaccination immediately.
“Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days after potential exposure,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for the Health Division.
PREVIOUS NEWS FROM OAKLAND COUNTY, MI: They Ordered Pepperoni, Not Hepatitis
Hepatitis A is a virus commonly spread in feces onto hands that attacks the liver. Vaccination involves two doses given six months apart.
The vaccine is available at some doctor’s offices, pharmacies and local health department facilities. Call ahead to ensure availability and to see whether appointments are required.
Hepatitis A symptoms include sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine and vomiting often followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Symptoms usually appear from 14 to 50 days after exposure, but average about one month.
“We are still experiencing a serious, ongoing hepatitis A outbreak both locally and statewide. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months,” said county health official Leigh-Anne Stafford. “Vaccination, good hygiene and proper sanitation of surfaces can prevent the spread of hepatitis A.”
What we know about Oakland County, Michigan:
- Oakland County is located northwest of Detroit and part of metropolitan Detroit.
- As of the 2010 census, its population was 1,202,362, making it the second-most populous county in Michigan. The county seat is Pontiac.
- Multiple press reports indicate that the area has a high population of illegal immigrants and undocumented workers.
- This is the second hepatitis Aoutbreak in Oakland Co. in less than 12 months. The same spokesperson, Leigh-Anne Stafford, warned last December:
“Southeast Michigan is experiencing a serious hepatitis A outbreak. All residents are urged to get vaccinated, especially food handlers and healthcare providers, and to wash hands thoroughly.”
FULL PRESS RELEASE, Oakland County (MI) Health Division:
Sept. 13, 2018, Pontiac, Mich. – Oakland County Health Division was alerted this evening that an attendee of the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly, MI has a confirmed case of hepatitis A and was ill while attending the festival on September 1. It is strongly recommended that those attending and working the festival on September 1 and September 2 get a hepatitis A vaccine by Saturday, September 15, if they have not been vaccinated.
Friday, September 14, 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac.
Saturday, September 15, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac.
North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
Get the hepatitis A vaccine.
Wash hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing and eating food. Rub hands vigorously with soap and warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
Clean and disinfect all surface areas, especially while someone in the household or workplace has symptoms. Particular care needs to be taken with areas such as toilets, sinks, trash, door knobs, and faucet handles.
Do not prepare food if you have symptoms and refrain from food preparation for at least three days after symptoms have ended.
Exclude ill food service workers from the establishment immediately until clearance from OCHD is received.