Nidhi Sharma – All Headline News Staff Writer
Los Angeles, CA (AHN) – Following a series of outbreaks of the disease recently, health officials have made it mandatory for all food service workers in eateries across Los Angeles to get vaccinated for hepatitis A.
Officials at the Los Angeles County on Tuesday planned to get a detail estimate of costs and benefits of requiring vaccination of more than 100,000 workers at 25,000 eateries, 300 catering companies and 270 wholesale producers.
AP quotes County Supervisor Mike Antonovich as saying, “We need to ensure that those who are involved in the handling of food are safe and healthy. Public is vulnerable.” The practice is already followed by other cities including Las Vegas and St. Louis. The vaccinations cost about $200 per person.
In the month of February, a cook at the Wolfgang Puck catering company was diagnosed with hepatitis A which caused a possible threat to public health. Following the diagnosis, health officials issued warnings to 3,500 people who attended more than a dozen events catered by the company.
People in food service having hepatitis can appear without symptoms and the virus can be transmitted through food.
According to CDC estimates, nearly 76 million cases of food-borne disease occur each year in the United States. Most cases are mild and cause symptoms for only a day or two. However, the CDC estimates 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths related to food-borne diseases occur annually.
Hepatitis A is an acute infectious liver disease caused by the hepatovirus hepatitis A virus. Most commonly transmitted by the orofecal route, such as contaminated food, hepatitis A does not typically have a chronic stage and will not cause permanent liver damage. The patient’s immune system makes antibodies against Hepatitis A that confer immunity against future infection.
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