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Wednesday, February 28th 2007

I'd Laugh…

…but Hepatitis A is no fun. CNNSI is reporting on how they themselves might have exposed guests at a recent party Sports Illustrated threw to Hepatitis A (the only funny part is reading the article on their news site).

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health urged anyone who ate raw food at the Sports Illustrated event, held at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, to receive an immune globulin shot by Wednesday.

Health officials and event hosts were also contacting attendees of three smaller events between Feb. 14 and 20 that were within the 14-day window during which immune globulin can be administered to prevent illness.

Authorities identified nine other events involving the affected food handler at a time when the worker could have been infectious, but those attendees were already beyond the 14-day window for immune globulin.

There is a Hepatitis A vaccine, but since the disease doesn’t delve into a chronic hepatitis —> liver failure, like Hepatitis B (or Hepatitis C), no one seems to get the vaccine. I’m not even sure I have it (definitely have Hep B).

In any case it is usually 3 to 4 weeks for symptoms to appear and they can put you out of commission for weeks (maybe even months). So while not considered life threatening in healthy individuals it certainly is life interrupting, unpleasant, and generally just a terrible thing to get.

Luckily there is an immunoglobulin available if you haven’t been vaccinated. Apparently it needs to be given within 14 days of exposure. I don’t know what the likelihood of transmission from this food preparer to those at the party but you have to think it isn’t that great. Hopefully no one gets sick from this.