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Health

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure Linked to Food Demonstration at Ace Hardware in Rome

The Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) has been made aware of a potential Hepatitis A exposure linked to a food demonstration at Ace Hardware in Rome. The individual who tested positive for Hepatitis A prepared and cooked food while infectious. Patrons who consumed this food may have been exposed.

The Health Department is reaching out to those who sampled food at the store to alert them of the potential exposure.

For individuals who consumed the food on Saturday, June 8th, it is critical to receive preventive treatment by Saturday, June 22nd, as the Hepatitis A vaccine is effective within two weeks (14 days) of exposure. Those who consumed food on Saturday, June 1st are outside of this window but should monitor themselves for symptoms.

Hepatitis A vaccinations are available through primary doctors or through OCHD. A vaccination clinic has been scheduled on Friday, June 21, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for those exposed. Appointments can be scheduled online or by calling 315-798-5747, pressing 2. Please note that Oneida County offices will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, for the Juneteenth holiday. If calling, leave a message with your name, date of birth, phone number, and date of exposure. Due to expected call volume, please leave only one message; your call will be returned.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A typically appear within 15 to 50 days of exposure and may include yellowing of the skin or eyes, lack of appetite, upset stomach, stomach pain, vomiting, fever, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, diarrhea, or fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor or the Oneida County Health Department.

Hepatitis A is transmitted through consumption of contaminated food or drink or by using utensils handled by an infected person. It can also spread through ingestion of items contaminated by the virus. Casual contact, such as sitting together, does not transmit the virus.

Ace Hardware of Rome has been informed of the potential exposure and is cooperating with OCHD. Follow-up inspections are planned.

“Hepatitis A is a preventable disease with vaccination,” said Daniel W. Gilmore, Ph.D., MPH, Director of Health. “If you have been exposed and have not yet been vaccinated, please get vaccinated to protect yourself.”

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