- Department of Public Health
Media Contact for Health officials warn customers of Rockport seafood restaurant about possible exposure to hepatitis A from a food service employee
Ann Scales, Director of Media Relations
ROCKPORT — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and local health authorities are urging anyone who ate cold or uncooked food or who are unsure what they ate between April 21st and May 12th at Roy Moore’s Fish Shack in Rockport, MA to contact their health care provider because of possible exposure to hepatitis A.
A food service employee of the restaurant who worked during those dates has a confirmed case of hepatitis A. Customers are being advised to contact their health care provider and receive appropriate medical treatment for a possible exposure to hepatitis A. Hepatitis A vaccine and hepatitis A immune globulin may be effective at preventing hepatitis A infection if administered within two weeks of exposure.
Cold or uncooked foods include salads and salad items, rolls, bread, hamburger and hot dog buns, fruit or vegetable garnishes, cold desserts, hamburger or sandwich condiments such as pickles and onions, chips, as well as ice or beverages containing ice.
The early signs and symptoms of hepatitis A are fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice (dark urine, yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.) The illness varies in severity, with mild cases lasting two weeks or less and more severe cases lasting four to six weeks or longer. Some individuals, especially children, may not develop jaundice and may have an illness so mild that it can go unnoticed. However, even mildly ill persons can still be highly infectious. Persons with illness suggestive of hepatitis should consult a health care provider even if symptoms are mild.
Hepatitis A virus is spread as a result of fecal contamination (fecal-oral route) and may be spread from person to person through close contact or through food handling. The virus can be spread by contaminated food and beverages.
Persons who ate cold or uncooked foods from Roy Moore’s Fish Shack between April 21st and May 12th are urged to be particularly thorough in handwashing after toileting and prior to food preparation to avoid any potential further spread of disease. Handwashing should include vigorous soaping of the hands, including the back of the hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails. Hands should be thoroughly rinsed with running water.
More information can be obtained from your local health departments, health care provider or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences at 617-983-6800.