PITTSBURGH—Secondary cases of Hepatitis-A have begun to surface in Beaver County and surrounding areas as the fifteen to sixty day incubation period elapses for those people who were not deemed at risk of contracting Hepatitis-A and did not receive Immune Globulin shots to prevent infection.
Attorney William Marler, whose firm represents over 100 victims of the Chi-Chi’s Hepatitis-A outbreak, said that although the recent Hepatitis-A outbreak was traced to contaminated green onions, secondary cases of the illness will most likely be traced to household contact among families or roommates, or food prepared by an infectious individual.
“What most people probably don’t realize is that someone with Hepatitis-A is most infectious the first two weeks after exposure to the virus, before they exhibit any symptoms of infection,” Marler said. “Because it takes an average of thirty days before symptoms of infection appear, people oftentimes don’t realize they are carrying the virus, and don’t take proper precautions to prevent the further spread of disease until it is too late.”
“In my experience, secondary cases amount to about 10% of any outbreak, so I would expect that the number will rise in this outbreak as well. I also want to point out that secondary victims have legal rights against the original source of the Hepatitis A virus,” added Marler.
Vaccinations and proper hand-washing with warm water and soap are the most effective means of preventing further spread of the Hepatitis-A virus. “It wouldn’t surprise me if this outbreak extends for at least another month, with more secondary cases continuing to occur,” Marler concluded.
About Marler Clark: Marler Clark is the premiere food illness litigation firm in the Untied States. It has achieved great success representing victims, mostly children, in the largest outbreaks across the country over the last ten years. The partners at Marler Clark also speak frequently on issues of safe food and have formed Outbreak, Inc., a non-profit business dedicated to teaching companies how to avoid food borne diseases.
More about the Chi-Chi's hepatitis A outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.