Orange County Public Health Recommends Immune Globulin For Some Patrons of Fisherman's Bar
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 22, 2000
HEALTH CARE AGENCY
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR
Contact: Hildy Meyers M.D., Medical Director
Epidemiology (714) 834-8024 DIRECTOR Michael Schumacher, Ph.D. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR JULIETTE A. POULSON, RN, MN MAILING ADDRESS: 515 N. SYCAMORE ST., SUITE 604 SANTA ANA, CA 92701 TELE.: (714) 834-6021 FAX: (714) 834-5506
ORANGE COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDS IMMUNE GLOBULIN FOR SOME PATRONS OF FISHERMAN'S BAR
(Santa Ana) Today Dr. Mark Horton, Orange County Health Officer, recommended that certain patrons of the Fisherman's Bar (not Fisherman's Restaurant) in San Clemente get an injection of immune globulin (IG) due to possible exposure to hepatitis A. One Fisherman's Bar employee has been identified as having hepatitis A.
"Although the facts of this case indicate a low risk of infection, it is still important for customers to receive IG because the possibility of exposure does exist," said Dr. Hildy Meyers, Medical Director, Epidemiology.
IG is a preparation of antibodies that helps the body fight off hepatitis A infection after exposure. It is only effective if given within 14 days of exposure to hepatitis A and should be given as soon as possible.
Patrons who were at the bar in the following time frame should contact a physician and request immuni globulin. You should do this if you were at Fisherman's Bar in any of the following times: March 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. -- should be inoculated by March 25
March 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- should be inoculated by March 26
March 13 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. -- should be inoculated by March 27
"Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus," said Meyers. "Typical symptoms may include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light colored stools, a yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin (called jaundice), mild fever and diarrhea. It is also possible to be infected and not have any symptoms. The lack of symptoms is more common in young children. There is no chronic infection with hepatitis A. Once someone has had it, he will be immune for life."
Handwashing is very important to prevent the spread of hepatitis A. It is spread to others when an infected person fails to wash hands after going to the bathroom or changing diapers and then touches or handles something that another person puts in his mouth, such as food or toys.
Hands should be washed:
Before every meal, snack or any time something is put into the mouth
After using the bathroom or changing diapers
Before handling food that someone else might eat
There is a vaccine to protect against hepatitis A. The vaccine is given before exposure and gives long-term protection. Routine vaccination against hepatitis A has been recommended for California children age 2 and older by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Physicians can contact OCPH at (714) 834-8180 for information on obtaining IG. If patrons are unable to obtain IG through their usual source of medical care, OCPH may be able to provide IG through the Immunization Clinic which can be reached at (714) 834-8330.