Some 31 cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed by the Oahu officials after last week there were only 12 cases. The situation is alarming because doctors haven’t found a direct cause yet and the incubation period of the virus is too long for experts to diagnose it early.
According to Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist, every case can’t be related to the previous one, and this makes the situation even worse because scientists cannot establish the source of the outbreak.
Without knowing where the disease emerged from, it was difficult to prevent more people from getting infected with this contagious virus. Individuals who get infected with Hepatitis A are infectious for an extended period ranging from one week before the first symptoms to one week after them.
According to Dr. Virginia Pressler, State Health Department Director, the most concerning thing is that the disease can keep spreading among people while they are completely oblivious to the risks.
Experts find it hard to stop the spread of a disease that shows no symptoms in the beginning. Infected persons can be contagious for even a month despite the fact that they apparently have no signs of Hepatitis A.
Epidemiologists suspect that the source of the outbreak might lie in food, so there is the idea that all the foods consumed in restaurants and other places during the infection period should be recalled, but this is a tough process that affects not only the restaurants but the people as well.
According to J.J. Niebuhr, JJ Dolan’s owner, a popular Honolulu restaurant, this critical situation is highly concerning for restaurant owners because they do not know from where the disease emerges.
However, JJ Dolan’s went under a thorough restaurant inspection, and the green pass on the window is the proof that the food from there is safe to eat, according to food safety officials.
There is also the possibility that the outbreak might originate from a grocery store as well. Three years ago, eight people from Hawaii got infected with Hepatitis A due to a frozen berry mix.
This disease has various symptoms such as jaundice, cramps, loss of appetite, fatigue, and fever. These symptoms can last between two weeks to two months.
The virus is found in the infected people’s stool, and they usually get infected by drinking water or eating contaminated food. Infected persons can spread the virus to the others living in the same house or apartment.
That is why health officials and authorities have doubled their efforts to thoroughly investigate all possible links that might lead to the source of the Hepatitis A outbreak.