The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a case of hepatitis A in a Lewiston food service worker.

The individual worked during their infectious period at Marco’s Italian Restaurant, 12 Mollison Way in Lewiston on the following dates: Sept. 11, 13, 15,16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25, 27 and 28, 2023. Anyone who purchased and/or ate food or drink from this restaurant during these days could be at risk for hepatitis A infection. An infected person can spread the virus to others from about two weeks before symptom onset until one week after symptoms begin.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can spread through person-to-person contact or by consuming contaminated food or water.

You can prevent getting hepatitis A with a vaccine. People exposed to hepatitis A can avoid getting sick if they get the vaccine within 14 days of the exposure. If you think you were exposed and may need a vaccine, contact a healthcare provider. Hepatitis A vaccine is available for anyone who does not have health insurance at certain facilities across Maine.

Hepatitis A vaccine is a two-dose series. After one dose, at least 94 out of 100 people become immune for several years. It is important to get the full two-dose series to ensure long-term protection.

Individuals who were potentially exposed should:

  1. Discard any leftover food bought at this restaurant during the dates listed above. 
  2. If eligible, get vaccinated.
    • If you ate or drank from this restaurant during these dates, get a hepatitis A vaccine within 14 days of the last time you ate or drank there.
    • If more than 14 days have passed, people who have not previously been vaccinated may still get the vaccine at any time to protect against future exposures.
    • Individuals who worked in the restaurant during these dates should get a hepatitis A vaccine within 14 days of their last date worked.
    • Ask your healthcare provider if you need hepatitis A immune globulin (IG) in addition to the hepatitis A vaccine; certain people may need both.
    • If you are already vaccinated for hepatitis A, you are already protected. You do not need to get any additional hepatitis A vaccine doses now.
  3. Monitor for symptoms of hepatitis A. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention:
  1. feeling tired
  2. low or no appetite
  3. stomach pain
  4. nausea
  5. diarrhea
  6. dark-colored urine
  7. jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  8. fever
  9. joint pain

Symptoms begin 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus and can range from mild to severe. People who get very ill may need to go to a hospital and their symptoms can last several months. Most children younger than 6 years old have mild or no symptoms.

Cases of hepatitis A in Maine have remained elevated since an initial increase in 2019. People at increased risk of becoming infected should protect themselves with a hepatitis A vaccine.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)