PONTIAC, MI – The Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) issued a health advisory about an attendee of the Michigan Renaissance Festival (Holly, Michigan) who has a confirmed case of hepatitis A and was ill while attending the festival on September 1. The OCHD strongly recommends those who attended and worked at the festival on September 1, September 2 and September 3 be vaccinated within 14 days. Call your doctor or pharmacy if you have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A.
People who attended the festival on:
- Sept 1 can be protected if they receive vaccination by Saturday, September 15.
- Sept 2 can be protected if they receive vaccination by Sunday, September 16.
- Sept 3 can be protected if they receive vaccination by Monday, September 17.
The Ottawa County Department of Public Health urges people to wash your hands often and get vaccinated to stop the spread of hepatitis A.
What is hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a serious, highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the feces (poop) of people with hepatitis A. It can cause damage to the liver and other health problems. Hepatitis A can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months. Illness can appear 15-50 days after exposure and can last for several weeks. Not all people infected with hepatitis A experience symptoms.
How is it spread?
The hepatitis A virus is spread by the fecal-oral route (ingesting contaminated food or water). Hepatitis A is not spread by sneezes or coughs. People who think they may have been exposed should call their doctor immediately.
What are the symptoms?
- nausea and vomiting
- belly pain
- feeling tired
- loss of appetite
- yellowing of the skin and eyes
- dark urine
- pale-colored feces
- joint pain
Who is at risk?
People who are at the highest risk include:
- People with a history of substance use.
- People currently homeless or in transient living.
- Men who have sex with men.
- People incarcerated in correctional facilities.
- Food handlers.
- Health care workers.
- People with underlying liver disease.
- People who are in close contact with any of the above risk groups.
How can hepatitis A infection be prevented?
- Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water after using the bathroom or changing a diaper and before eating or preparing food.
- Do not share towels, toothbrushes and eating utensils.
- Get vaccinated with two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine. Contact your primary care physician or pharmacy for availability.