The Hawaii Department of Health has confirmed 292 cases of Hepatitis A in the outbreak, including 74 people who were hospitalized and one woman in her 60s who died of liver failure after eating at Genki Sushi.
The first illness was reported on June 12, 2016, which means the outbreak could have started in mid-April because Hepatitis A takes 15-50 days to cause symptoms. The last illness was on October 9.
No new illnesses have been reported as of January 11, 2017.
In August 2016, frozen scallops imported from the Philippines and served raw by Genki Sushi on Oahu and Kauai were identified as the source of the outbreak and recalled. Everyone who got vaccinated will need a booster shot.
Hawaii state epidemiologist Sarah Park issued the following reminder to 90,000 residents who got the 1st dose of the Hepatitis A vaccine between July and November 2016:
Although one dose of the hepatitis A vaccine provides good protection, a second dose is necessary to provide full protection. The second dose must be received at least six months after the first dose.”
To locate a vaccinating pharmacy or clinic near you, view the Vaccine Locator or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.
Lawyers in Honolulu have filed a class action lawsuit for everyone who got vaccinated against Hepatitis A or a shot of Immune Globulin (IG). Another class action involves 80 people who were infected. Individual lawsuits have also been filed over severe illnesses.
One victim is Jason Smith, a pest control worker from Hawaii who told Hawaii News Now “I always ordered the scallops. I looked in the mirror and, what the heck. My eyes were yellow. I turned on the bright light and my skin was yellow.”
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is caused by a virus. Mild illnesses last 1-2 weeks. Severe infections can cause months of debilitating symptoms, liver failure, or death. These symptoms include:
- Headache and/or body ache
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Dark-colored urine
- Pale colored stools
- Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
Source: Hepatitis A Outbreak 2016