An employee with an acute hepatitis A infection handled food at an Orono convenience store intermittently through the first three weeks of March, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The employee is a food service worker at the Circle K at 2 Stillwater Ave. and worked there while infectious for about eight days spread across three weeks, Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long said. Since hepatitis A can spread through food or water, anyone who may have eaten food prepared at or who worked at the Circle K from March 13-16 or March 20-21 should receive a hepatitis A vaccine within 14 days of the potential exposure, the CDC recommended.
There is a 14-day window during which receiving hepatitis A vaccine is effective after exposure.
Maine CDC also recommends that anyone who ate food from or worked at the establishment from March 6 through 9 monitor symptoms and seek medical attention if any develop.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. 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.
More information about the virus is available from the U.S. CDC.