An employee at the Burger Boy restaurant in Caribou had an acute case of Hepatitis A, a contagious liver disease, while preparing food at the restaurant in late April and the first two weeks of May, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since Hepatitis A can spread through food or water — especially in food prepared by an infected person — customers who ate at Burger Boy and restaurant employees could be at risk of infection, according to the CDC.
The CDC recommends that anyone who ate or worked at Burger Boy from May 3 through May 13 get vaccinated against Hepatitis A by Monday, May 27. There is a 14-day window after exposure to the virus during which vaccination can be effective, according to the CDC.
The infected employee prepared food at the restaurant between April 24 and May 13.
Customers who ate there from April 24 to May 2 should watch for symptoms and seek medical attention if any develop, the CDC said. However, a vaccine will no longer be effective in those cases because the 14-day window after exposure has passed. People with compromised immune systems or infants under a year old could seek Hepatitis A immune globulin from their doctors, which is similar to the vaccine but works differently.
Hepatitis A symptoms can range from mild illness to severe sickness that requires months of hospitalization. Common symptoms include a sudden onset of tiredness, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, dark urine and jaundice.
These can begin to show 15 to 50 days after exposure, according to the CDC.
Vaccination can prevent Hepatitis A. More information about the virus is available from the U.S. CDC at cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/index.htm.