Health officials warn that customers of a Moosehead Lake restaurant are at risk of contracting hepatitis A.
A worker at The Birches Resort who was ill with hepatitis A handled food while infectious between Sept. 2 and 22, according to Robert Long, a spokesperson for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Anyone who dined at or got takeout, delivery or curbside pickup from the Rockwood restaurant is at risk of contracting the illness, Long said.
Long said anyone who may have eaten food from or worked at The Birches between Sept. 16 and 22 should get vaccinated within 14 days of their exposure. A vaccination isn’t recommended for those outside the 14-day window when it is effective against infection, but those who dined or worked at the restaurant between Sept. 2 and 15 should watch for hepatitis A symptoms, which can show 15 to 50 days after exposure.
Symptoms of hepatitis A, a liver infection, include fatigue, nausea, stomach pain, dark urine and jaundice, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those can last up to two months.
Most people who contract hepatitis A do not have long-lasting illness, according to the federal health agency.
The best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination, though good hand hygiene also plays an important role in preventing its spread, according to the Maine CDC. The Maine CDC strongly recommends hepatitis A vaccination for people who use drugs (injection or non-injection), people experiencing homelessness, men who have sex with men and people who are, or were recently, incarcerated.