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Number of Hepatitis A cases now at 30

Deirdre Cox Baker

Quad City Times

August 12, 2009

The 30th case of hepatitis A from a summer outbreak of the disease in the Quad-City region this summer was reported today. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Rock Island County Health Department reported the total number of cases, saying they are all related to people who visited a McDonald's restaurant at 400 W. 1st St., Milan, Ill., this summer.

Rock Island County has its 16th reported case, an individual who visited the Milan McDonald's during both June and July, officials said. "This individual is not in a sensitive occupation and does not pose a risk to the public," said Theresa Foes, a spokeswoman for the Rock Island County Health Department.

The hepatitis A vaccine or a drug called immune globulin will be provided to the patient's contacts, she said.

Confirmed cases of hepatitis A from the Quad-City outbreak stretch from Woodford County, near Peoria, Ill., to Scott County, Iowa. Rock Island County has the most with 16, while four victims are from out-of-state, Illinois authorities said. Other Illinois counties with residents who have been diagnosed are Mercer, Henry and Warren.

The Rock Island County Health Department inoculated more than 5,324 area residents against the disease. All of them visited the Milan McDonald's in early or mid-July.

The Rock Island County Sheriff's Department completed an investigation this week into the reporting of the disease. An investigator concluded that Trinity Regional Health System and Metropolitan Medical Laboratory, both of which were involved during the initial phases of the outbreak, failed to promptly report confirmed cases to the health department. A delay in acting on the belated reports then occurred because a health department employee was on vacation.

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